Mike Farnworth, B.C.'s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has released the following statement:
“The City of Abbotsford has issued an immediate and urgent notice to all residents who did not evacuate the Sumas Prairie earlier today to evacuate immediately.
“The city has indicated that conditions within the Sumas Prairie have escalated and pose a significant risk to life due to the imminent failure of the Barrowtown Pump Station.
“This evening, I have been in continual contact with Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford. Emergency Management BC has been working with Abbotsford Emergency Management staff and the Abbotsford Police Department.
“Emergency Management BC has been ready and available to issue a broadcast intrusive alert through the Alert Ready system. The City of Abbotsford has indicated that it does not want to issue an alert at this time.
“Abbotsford officials are in the process of directly contacting all those affected by this notice.
“The Province is supporting the City of Abbotsford with any resources it needs. I have also been in contact with Bill Blair, federal Minister of Emergency Preparedness, to request federal assistance on this incident and the flooding situation in general. This includes Canadian Armed Forces ground and air support.
“If you are in the Sumas Prairie and have not already evacuated, you must do so immediately. Do not stay for livestock or property. Flood conditions have escalated quickly and pose a significant risk to life.
“This event is anticipated to be catastrophic. Residents who cannot evacuate safely are asked to call 911 and report your location immediately.”