Before and after satellite images show flood devastation on the Sumas Prairie in British Columbia


Spectacular satellite imagery shows the extent of flood damage on the Sumas Prairie in British Columbia following historic rainfall last weekend.

The low-lying rural area, east of Abbotsford town center, is mostly farmland and was created by the drainage of Sumas Lake in the 1920s.

Last week, the area suffered extensive flooding when water gushed out of the Nooksack River from neighboring Washington state, forcing evacuations and killing livestock.

In images provided by Maxar Technologies, the region’s farmland is shown on June 27 of this year and again on Friday.

Many houses, barns, and roads were submerged in cloudy, brown water after the storm, as shown in the composites above and below.

A volunteer pilot and organizer who has helped bring supplies to communities in need said it was “amazing” to see the damage firsthand in Sumas Prairie and along the Fraser Canyon.

“The bridge is washed away,” Shaun Heaps told CBC News. “We have a monument that has been with us forever, the Hell’s Gate Airtram, it’s not here – you can’t even tell it was there.”

WATCH | The pilot from British Columbia describes the damage caused by the flooding:

British Columbia pilot describes ‘incredible’ damage to flood-affected Sumas prairie

Pilot and volunteer organizer Shaun Heaps has helped supply flood-ravaged communities in southern British Columbia. He describes what he saw from the sky. 0:49

Other troops arrived in the province over the weekend to help farmers in the Sumas Prairie area rescue livestock and assist in the sandbagging efforts.

The mayor of Abbotsford told a press conference on Saturday that the 24-hour work had improved the flooding situation in the area.

Flood valves at a pumping station that struggled to cope with the influx of water into the Sumas Grassland were able to partially reopen, allowing excess water from the Sumas River to drain away. discharge into the Fraser River, said Mayor Henry Braun.

“There is already a dramatic change in parts of the prairie,” Braun said. “I can visually see a lot of green fields.”

But with more rain expected in the coming week, Braun has extended the local state of emergency until November 29.

See more of the flood damage in the area (all images taken on Friday):

Nearly 1,000 properties in the Sumas Prairie area were placed on evacuation orders on Tuesday. (Satellite image © 2021 Maxar Technologies)

More than 180 rescues were carried out on Tuesday and early Wednesday as trapped residents were stranded on their flooded properties. (Satellite image © 2021 Maxar Technologies)

The military has since joined efforts to rescue animals in the flood-affected region. (Satellite image © 2021 Maxar Technologies)


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