Flood Response

February 14, 2024 - Improvements to Abbotsford pump station build resilience, make people safer

Province of BC Release: To help protect people, communities and farmland in the Fraser Valley’s Sumas Prairie from future flood events, the Barrowtown Pump Station in Abbotsford will receive significant flood-resilience upgrades.

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In November 2021, Abbotsford experienced one of Canada’s largest flooding disasters when the Nooksack River overflowed and breached its dike and floodwater headed straight to Abbotsford, flooding Sumas Prairie. This event forced the closure of the US/Canada Border and Highway 1, effectively stopping the flow of people, goods and services and led to a significant loss of livestock and poultry, as well as the evacuation of over 1,100 properties and over 3,300 people from their homes.

Response and Recovery work began right away and has continued steadily since the floodwaters receded.  The City of Abbotsford has developed a long-term flood mitigation plan for Sumas Prairie on how best to manage the impact of future floods to properties and reduce the risk of repeating the devastation experienced in 2021.

Long-Term Flood Mitigation

Currently, when the Nooksack River overflows its banks, the water floods adjacent land and flows towards the flood boxes on Sumas River in Abbotsford. If these flood boxes are closed due to the water levels of the Fraser and/or Vedder rivers, water is held back and can flood properties as demonstrated by the latest atmospheric events. Depending on the volume, water can overflow the Sumas Dike into the former lake bottom area of Sumas Prairie. The November 2021 rainfall in Abbotsford was estimated to be approximately a one in 100-year event.

Recovery Progress and Updates

Flood Recovery Resources

Canadian Red Cross Recovery Services
Insurance, Recovery and Financial Aid
Personal Health, Safety, and Basic Needs
Moving Back In and Rebuilding

Sumas Prairie Rescinded Evacuation Orders and State of Local Emergency