Abbotsford Emergency Flood Response
City of Abbotsford
KWL provided emergency services to prevent further flooding of the Sumas Lake area and drain the flooded lands. On November 14 and 15, 2021, Abbotsford received more than 150mm of rain that partially flooded the Sumas Prairie area. The storm event also resulted in the Nooksack River overflowing its banks south of the border, which flowed into the Sumas River, raising the water levels until they overtopped the dikes that separate it from the Old Sumas Lake Bottom. The Sumas Lake bottom, one of Canada’s most productive farming areas, relies on the dikes and the Barrowtown Pump Station to remain dry. On November 16, the overtopping led to two breaches of the dikes that diverted the entire flow from the Sumas River and Nooksack overflow into the Sumas Lake Bottom. The resulting flow far exceeded the pump station capacity to keep up. As a result, the land was flooded by over 3m of water, the highway was closed, and the pump station was close to flooding out and failing. On the evening of November 17, KWL was called out to help save the pump station, seal the breaches, and complete emergency repairs to multiple sections of the extensively damaged dike. At 4am on November 21, the breaches were sealed, and the pump station remained at full capacity to start draining the floodwaters out of the Sumas Lake Bottom. The repairs continued to bring the dikes back to an acceptable level of protection and keep the pump station operating.