Mark Strahl was one of many Fraser Valley elected officials who spent the last few weeks going from disaster site to disaster site, to survey damage and meet with victims of flooding.
This week, the Chilliwack-Hope MP is back in Ottawa and told those in the House of Commons what he saw unfold in his riding. And in that statement, he included kind words for residents of the region.
He acknowledged “their selfless and heroic actions during the B.C. storm last month,” and outlined some of the positives that sprang forth from the hardships.
“Farmers rushed into rising flood waters with their trucks and trailers to help their fellow farmers rescue thousands of animals in the Sumas Prairie,” he said. “Hundreds of people sandbagged in the middle of the night to prevent a catastrophic failure of the Barrowtown Pump Station.”
Strahl stayed in the region for an extra week before leaving for Ottawa, and travelled around meeting with people and sharing out safety information and news stories on his social media pages.
He also joined the Fraser Valley Angling Guides Association in delivering flood cleanup kits donated by GlobalMedic to those experiencing localized flooding issues. Strahl said hundreds of homes in the area will have suffered extensive damage as the water table rose to levels not seen in decades. It’s the kind of flooding that can “deeply impact” those who experience it, he added.
“The people of Hope cared for 1,200 stranded travellers who were cut off for days due to landslides and road closures,” he said. “Faith communities, service clubs and neighbours sprang into action to help however they could.”
In Hope, hundreds of people stayed in the secondary school for up to four days, while others were housed at volunteer’s homes. And on the rivers, boats were used to make essential trips happen.
“Angling guides used their own boats to deliver food, take people to medical appointments, and help with the recovery effort,” he said. “First responders and road crews worked around the clock to rebuild supply lines and keep us safe.”
The road to recovery will be long for many farmers and homeowners all across southern B.C.
“I’ve never been more proud of my community,” he said. “We came together in a spirit of unity to do whatever needed to be done. We were there for one another during the crisis, and I know we’ll continue to be there for one another as we rebuild, together.”
The videos he made for the community are viewable on his Facebook page, as well as a video of his statement from Dec. 7.
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