BC Is Declaring A Provincial State Of Emergency After A 'Once In A Century' Storm

It comes into effect immediately.

BC Is Declaring A Provincial State Of Emergency After A 'Once In A Century' Storm
Western Canada Editor

The B.C. government is declaring a state of emergency across the province after a huge storm left communities stranded due to widespread flooding and landslides.

Premier John Horgan announced the state of emergency at a press conference on Wednesday, despite being on a medical leave of absence, and said that he has spoken to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to request the deployment of federal resources, including the Armed Forces.

"The order will preserve basic access to services and supplies for communities across the province," Horgan said.

"We will bring in travel restrictions and ensure that transportation of essential goods and medical and emergency services are able to reach the communities that need them."

After another mudslide on Highway 99 near Lillooet on Tuesday, which RCMP say killed one woman, all roads connecting Vancouver to the rest of Canada were blocked.

As it stands on Wednesday morning, one lane of Highway 7 is open west of Agassiz, but this is for emergency vehicles only.

According to Drive BC, the road closures in the map above are all still in place.

In Merritt, where an evacuation order was issued to all residents, checkpoints are in place to stop anyone not authorized to from entering the city.

On Monday, residents were told to seek shelter with family or friends who live outside of the city or to drive to refuge centres in Kelowna or Kamloops.

One grocery store near Highway 1 in Kamloops was overwhelmed as people stocked up on groceries.

According to CBC, B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth described this storm as a "once in a century" event.

Parts of B.C. currently look unrecognizable as widespread flooding transforms major transport routes like Highway 1 into rivers.

In Vancouver, a barge that was unmoored during the storm and crashed into the seawall is now reportedly stuck, as CTV reports that a tug boat was unable to move the vessel.

Daniel Milligan
Western Canada Editor