Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, BC area: Flooding

For me its been an uneventful past 3 weeks. But Vancouver was hit with many snow storms before Christmas resulting in the worst accummulation of snow in over 40 years. During this time my transportation choices were; walking, begging for rides to work, the bus and public transit for I was "snowed" in, or should I say, I was unable to use any of my self propelled vehicles. Our city is not prepared for the onslaught of huge amounts of snow . Not many of my neighbours drive down our lane so snow & ice pile up making it tricky for driving. In the early stages we did manage to get our Subaru AWD out so we did have some transportation options but it was being shared by 3 drivers. (my wife, son & myself)

I am a member of the Route 66 Association of Canada and we usually have a breakfast meeting on the 1st Sunday of every month in Langley so after the meeting we decided to travel farther east to see the affects of the recent flooding


The worst flooding is in an area just West of Chilliwack, a little village called Greendale. We travelled on backroads on our way and saw the remnants of a few mudslides on Vedder Mountain Road. It appeared that a few homes on the side of the mountain had globs of mud come down into their yards. There was lots of debris on the roadway and in many spots where they were doing cleanup the road was reduced to single lane alternating traffic. We saw one area where rocks and trees had come down and smashed upon a large tractor trailer unit, destroying it. (I just want to say that I do not feel comfortable documenting the misery of others so I have refrained from snapping pictures where there is obvious homeowner trauma)


We are in the heart of farmlands where the terrain is mainly flat with slight depressions which have now formed large lakes


In some spots you are able to drive around the water


And in other spots you are required to drive through the water. There was a strong smell of manure and it was reported on the radio to avoid contact with this water due to chemical and bacterial contamination, so I had decided NOT to drive through this water as I did not wish to contaminate our vehicle.


Of course, there are those who possibly have no other choice but to drive through the water to reach home


We are now on a parallel acess road which runs along our main Transcanada Highway (Hwy 1, aka: Hwy 401). Hwy 1 is elevated but on there are large lakes of pooling water along the sides.


There were videos on the news yesterday showing that the water was 2 or 3 feet high in places, but during the night the water has receded at least 3 feet.



We are truly lucky to not live in an area prone to flooding.


  1. bobscoot,
    we have an ink supplier in Chilliwak from whom we buy different color inks for our pad printer and I was talking to him on Friday. You put into pictures exactly what he described to me on the phone, during our conversation. Greta documentary pictures.

  2. We have been seeing it on TV and have so much sympathy for the folks there. We know misery too as we deal with the aftermath of hurricanes and that is usually lots of flooding and no utilities. Water everywhere and yet no drinking water and hot as hell with no ice. Our thoughts are with all of you in this situation. Just know that it will pass and better days are ahead.

  3. Dear Sir:

    While I regret the trauma and strife that others suffer in the wake of a natural disaster, I am delighted that you have not had to personally deal with mud slides, flooding, or wildfires. I am also sorry you were so aggravated getting back and forth to work. My office is in my home, and sometimes, I find that commute tough too.

    This has been a messy winter for us in terms of weather too crummy for riding, and timed so each weekend seems fleeting without lasting benefit. I'm already sick of the fact that it is taking forever for the days to appear noticeably longer. I want daylight at 5am and sunset around 8:45pm.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  4. Interstate 5 was shut down both ways a few miles into Washington from us. Major east-west routes over the mountains were closed due to avalanche dangers. Before that chains were required on all the streets in Portland. Isn't it amazing how much we rely on being able to drive places?

    It's pretty soggy right now but the rivers have receded back into their banks. You doing ok, now?