Justin Trudeau flies to British Columbia on Friday to visit flood-ravaged Abbotsford
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flies to British Columbia on Friday to visit the flood-ravaged community of Abbotsford, which remains partially underwater as more atmospheric rivers flow into the province.
Trudeau is scheduled to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Mike Farnworth, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun, Sumas First Nation Chief Dalton Silver and Matsqui First Nation Chief Alice McKay when he lands in the community, according to his itinerary.
He is also expected to meet with members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have been instrumental in flood response and storm preparedness in British Columbia, as well as first responders and volunteers.
The route does not specify when the Prime Minister is expected to arrive in Abbotsford. He must first visit Montreal and meet the mayor of that city at 8:45 am.
After leaving the Fraser Valley, Trudeau is expected to travel to Victoria to meet with Prime Minister John Horgan, who was recently diagnosed with throat cancer but remains at work.
The two leaders are expected to hold a joint press briefing at 5.30 p.m.
Much work has been done to reopen BC’s highways and clean up flood-affected communities since last week’s historic storm, but there is still a long way to go.
On Thursday, the province revealed that the busy Coquihalla road, which was damaged or washed away at around 20 different points, is not expected to reopen until the end of January.
Abbotsford officials also estimated it will be weeks before the remaining floodwater is pumped out of eastern Sumas Prairie.
Mayor Braun said crews had worked hard to prepare for wetter weather, but noted that there were lingering concerns around the Nooksack River, located outside of British Columbia’s jurisdiction in the Washington State. The flooding of this river is said to have seriously worsened the situation in Abbotsford last week.
A less severe storm hit the southern coast of British Columbia on Thursday, with two more expected in the coming days. Officials said the one expected to arrive on Tuesday will be the worst of the three.
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