Abbotsford mayor confident city can hold off further floodwaters

Abby mayor 'confident'

The mayor of Abbotsford is confident the city can hold off the next storm so long as it doesn't dump unexpected amounts of rain.

A variety of factors mean the situation in Abbotsford isn't as dire as it could have been after the second of three storms, Mayor Henry Braun said during a press conference Monday.

"The water didn't come here as quickly as it was predicted on the U.S. side," he explained. "We were told that we could expect it in a shorter time than the flood of 2020."

Instead of taking five or six hours, it took closer to 19 hours to reach Abbotsford from where the Nooksack River has gone over its banks in Washington state.

"It also had a lot to do with the Fraser River dropping, so we could open up the floodgates at 1:30 a.m.," Braun said.

That allowed the Sumas River to flow freely into the much larger river, opening up capacity further up the Sumas River for further rainwater, snowmelt and floodwaters from the U.S.

With the third storm on its way, Braun said he's confident the city's infrastructure will be able to handle things so long as another 200 mm of rain doesn't fall again.

When asked about concerns with the American side of the border he explained he isn't sure about how things are going exactly in the repairs of dikes in Whatcom county, though he noted the breaching seen in Canada, were related to a dike breach in the US. An additional concern is Mt. Baker; the volcano holds a large amount of snow and depending on temperatures and rainfall some of that may melt.

That water goes into the Nooksack River.

Overall, though, Braun is confident what's being done in Abbotsford is going to hold.

"I feel much better today than I did yesterday at this point on the second event," he said. "The third one is still an unknown; everything is holding so I think we're in good shape."

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