BC Floods, Roads and Shock

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Right now most of the peaple effected directly and those all around the province are in “this is happening shock mode”  They are just starting to move, those trapped in cars, that have been lifted out by chopper, those that after three days have been able to get one highway lane open heading went, bringing peaple from hope area to get back home to the Vancouver, the 200 plus peaple after a two plus day wait on the trapped train has been able to get out.. 

The water rising slowed for a day (but the weather at the moment says they are heading into 7 days of rain so that is not going to hold”

Having said that at the moment, a massive sandbagging effort is holding a break point.. I will let ValB’s comment do the follow up on that part..  

“Update: pumps still holding (hundreds of people and military managed to sandbag enough the station isn’t under water at the moment). Fraser river has dropped some (no more rain please) but pumps still operating at capacity. BC government in state of emergency (second time this year I believe – fires was the first one this summer). Ag minister Lana Popham (I’ve met her, hardest working woman I know) spoke about the livestock situation (in between trying not to break down as she’s been on face time with farmers, who are in their barns with their dead cows) has reached out to other feed suppliers. Many many silos, and hay under water. The BC lab that tests ALL the milk intended for consumption, is under water – Alberta and Saskatchewan have offered the use of their labs. The farmers will be taken care of, many more livestock will have to be euthanized.”

While the main thing right now is the “NOW” and I totally get it.. the overall effect on the food and supply chains for the province is in effect but its not just B.C. Massive amounts of BC milk flows to Alberta and trust me its not flowing! 

Now lets move back to the roads for moment, with 9 effected major highways plus the trains, and we need to talk a bit about BC for those readers that are not away of it..  if you have never driven those mountain roads, it can be hard to grasp how narrow, how cut into the mountains and how steep the drops are.. 

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Thankfully the roads are much better these days then when they were creating them.. but honestly they are dangerous on a good day, amazing views yes.. but still crazy amounts of drops, mountains rising above you on one side, steep drops into valleys and most often long snaking rivers or at times depending huge lakes..  Beautiful and those that spend time in the mountains can and will feel the pull to come back. 

It will not a simple process to fix all those different roads, there have been slides, breaks, whole sections broken off and slide down into the rivers.. which brings as back to food and stores.. and for that, I am going to bring back comments again from ValB

“Most store shelves are now bare. This is way worse than the start of the pandemic. I flipped a pic someone local posted of our Save On Foods. The entire produce section is empty with the exception of half dozen of some weird cabbage things, and maybe six dozen lemons. 🤦‍♀️”

Honestly I can not write it better or explain it better then ValB did in this comment.. (thank you again for sharing your thoughts and comments.. 

Yes the whole lower mainland is technically part of the pacific delta…crazy. Getting the livestock out, some smaller places did…but the reality is there is nowhere to get them out to, no passable roads, not enough trucks to move that much livestock…the system has collapsed. If they manage to get rail back up and running they are already terribly backlogged with grain. So this will affect farmers in other provinces who expect to sell their grain, much of it gets transported to the lower mainland to be shipped.
It was suggested to me ‘oh well we’ll just get grocery from Alberta. Alberta cannot feed BC. They need their supply for them and most people don’t realize Alberta gets they bulk of their goods from BC. Also had someone say ‘oh they can just ship to Prince Rupert and offload there’. No. Rupert cannot accommodate the traffic, and they are still in the process of building their deep water port for the big ships.

‘You can go down through the US and bring it back up’. Technically, yes. Is you can get across the border, if the goods aren’t time sensitive….but at a huge cost.

I feel almost sick at this. It boggles my mind how people simply do not understand – how precarious the supply chain is. Even up here they don’t get that their food comes to the grocery store every single day by truck. Every single day. They’re hoping to open highway 3 first (the crows nest) but no timeline. They’re also talking about designating it for essential travel only (trucks, medical etc). The federal govt has offered the military. We need it. (And they are getting help from the Canadian Military)

This will get worse before it gets better.”

I am going to second that..  

This will get worse before it gets better!!!

We will see what today brings, I have also been reaching out to contacts and friends involved in a few different parts of the supply chain and effects.. there is more ripple effects out there.. those will be shared over the coming days and weeks as I can get links and offical ways to backup what I am being told..  

Right now.. its still very much Shock Mode.. (but soon, soon that is going to change and its going to get ugly when it does!) 

This is without a doubt the largest Natural Disaster in my personal lifetime to effect my country.. most folks are still thinking this is a BC disaster, but its truly a Canadian one..  

 

 

 

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11 Responses to BC Floods, Roads and Shock

  1. valbjerke says:

    Yes, you said it right: it’s a Canadian Disaster. 👍🏻

  2. valbjerke says:

    Update: the army is going to start building a levee this morning to try and save the Sumas prairie.
    There is an information heavy article in the Vancouver Sun…air lifting if feed is about to happen for the dairy farms that aren’t under water. Grain has been redirected from the port of Vancouver back into the country, Molson Breweries has donated 100,000 tons of grain as well. It’s estimated 10 percent of the 20,000 dairy cows have perished so far.

  3. Thanks for these posts Valerie (both of you!)

  4. These roads will take months and months to repair. It will take months to finish the safety assessments needed to see if the roads can be repaired. The knock on effects on our food systems will be noticed. Time to localize and support your local farmers.

    • Yes, I agree.. its going to be interesting to see if they will jump to fixing as fast as possable and keep it the same or if they are going to really think about it and consider that they might need to rebuild differently for the future. O yes, its going to be noticed..

      • Highways in parts of BC have been a mess for years. Before moving to The Island, we lived on Highway 3, which is now the highway that survived more or less unscathed and is now being used for commercial transport. It is pretty much a two lane highway through many treacherous mountain passes subject to avalanches and very dangerous driving conditions. Maintenance on that highway has been sketchy for at least the last decade. When I left, the day to day maintenance on Highway 3 between Kelowna and Creston was, well, sorry but words fail me – don’t want to get censored by wordpress for bad language. I hope Highway 3 will remain safe for the time being and I pray for the safety for all the truckers and road maintenance personal.

      • I have driven many of the roads over the years, sometimes when they were freshly done, other times when I got white knuckled.. so I hear ya.. I am sad to hear they have let them get to that poorly of a state and indeed safe driving for all the truckers and emerg folks using that road..

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