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New satellite images show extent of flooding in B.C.’s Sumas Prairie

Global News logo Global News 2021-11-20 Ahmar Khan
Maxar Satellite Imagery of Flooding of Sumas Prairie collected on November 19th. © Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies Maxar Satellite Imagery of Flooding of Sumas Prairie collected on November 19th.

New satellite images show the harrowing extent of the record-breaking flood damage to B.C.'s Fraser Valley.

The images, collected by U.S. company Maxar Technologies on Friday, show homes, barns and highways still barely visible under the water in Abbotsford's Sumas Prairie, five days after the atmospheric river.

Nearly 680 people have been evacuated from their homes, as crews tried to manage the inflow of water from Washington state's Nooksack River with pump stations already operating at maximum capacity.

Video: ‘Good news’ for Abbotsford, B.C. residents as flood gates partially open, mayor says


Video: Aerials show extent of flooding in Canada province (Reuters)

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On Saturday, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun announced the floodgate on the Sumas River had finally been partially opened, allowing crews to move seven times the volume of water out of the flood zone than it had with the pump station.

"There's a dramatic change already in certain parts of the prairie ... I can visually see a lot of green fields already," Braun said.

He said he remains concerned about an incoming weather system, forecast to dump up to 100 millimetres of rain on the region next week.

Read more: Sumas First Nation chief reflects on ‘disaster’ B.C. flooding where lake used to be

- with a file from Simon Little

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