AP

At least 1 dead from mudslides in Canada after heavy rains

Nov 16, 2021, 9:11 PM
A woman and children who were stranded by high water due to flooding are rescued by a volunteer ope...
A woman and children who were stranded by high water due to flooding are rescued by a volunteer operating a boat as another person's car is submerged near them in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The body of a woman was recovered from one of the mudslides caused by extremely heavy rainfall in the Pacific coast Canadian province of British Columbia, authorities said Tuesday.

Police said search and rescue personnel were continuing to look for other possible victims from Monday’s slides.

David MacKenzie, the Pemberton District Search and Rescue manager, said his team came across seven vehicles at the slide site on Highway 99 near the town of Lillooet and police were trying to determine if there were any other bodies.

“It is a significant amount of debris. It makes it very difficult for our search crews. The mud is up to their waist. I can’t recall our team being involved in anything like this in the past,” he said.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said the total number of people and vehicles unaccounted for had not yet been confirmed. She said investigators had received reports of two other people who were missing but added that other motorists might have been buried in the slide.

Jonathan Gormick, spokesman for the Vancouver Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team, said that while the roadway had been cleared of potentially trapped vehicles or people, they would now be searching the slide’s debris field.

About 300 people spent Sunday night in their vehicles and were helicoptered to safety Monday.

Elsewhere in the province, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said impassable highways were creating havoc in his city as police and firefighters tried to get people to evacuation centers.

“It breaks my heart to see what’s going on in our city,” Braun said.

Sunny skies followed two days of torrential storms that dumped the typical amount of rain that the city gets in all of November, but the mayor said the water was still rising and Highway 1 would be cut shut down for some time.

Braun said he was worried about getting enough information from officials in Washington state about water levels that have risen dramatically from the overflowing Nooksack River and over the Sumas dike.

“When are we going to crest? When is it going to level off here? It’s like a full cup of coffee. Once it’s full, it keeps flowing over the sides,’ he said.

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr said officers removed some people from the roofs of cars awash in flood waters Monday night but left some motorists in semi-trucks because they were higher above the water.

“I was out there last night. You could not see where the side of the road was. We had one member put on a life-jacket and swim out towards a car that was overturned to bring someone back. And that was on a regular basis for about two hours,” Serr said.

About 1,100 homes had been evacuated in Abbotsford, adding to others in various parts of British Columbia, including in Merritt, where the entire town of 7,000 people was forced to leave after the sanitation system failed.

Multiple roadways have been closed because of flooding or landslides, including sections of Highway 1A, Highway 3, Highway 5, Highway 11, Highway 12 and Highway 91.

British Columbia Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said provincial Cabinet ministers would meet Wednesday to consider declaring a provincewide state of emergency. He said supplies like food, cots and blankets were being delivered to the town of Hope, which is supporting nearly 1,100 people forced from their homes.

“I’m extremely concerned about the situation in British Columbia right now and what hundreds of families are going through, thousands are people are affected across the province by these extreme weather events,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
2 days ago
The U.S. Coast Guard ship Bernard C. Webber, leaves the coast guard base, Monday, July 19, 2021, in...
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours.
3 days ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
4 days ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
4 days ago
Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
6 days ago
Hand-written messages cover the heart attached to the cross to honor a victim of the mass shooting ...
COLLEEN SLEVIN, THOMAS PEIPERT, JESSE BEDAYN and BRITTANY PETERSON

Colorado gay club shooting suspect held without bail

The alleged shooter facing possible hate crime charges in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub was ordered held without bail in an initial court appearance Wednesday.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
At least 1 dead from mudslides in Canada after heavy rains