Heavy rains in recent days caused flooding and mudslides in the Pacific Northwest near the Canadian border. The floods have been described as the worst in decades. On Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a severe weather state of emergency for 14 counties in the western part of the state. The Interstate 5 was closed overnight. Multiple areas faced evacuations. It’s feared that several more people may have died. More than 150,000 had no power. The devastating flooding also extended into Oregon. The storm’s devastating effects were felt across the Canadian border. The entire city of Merritt was ordered to evacuate. The city of Vancouver have been cut off after major routes to Canada’s largest port were closed. “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.
The provincial minister of transportation, Rob Fleming, told a news conference it was the “worst weather storm in a century”. The storm caused considerable damage on the University of British Columbia campus. .An “atmospheric river” dumped the region’s monthly rainfall average in just 24 hours. In Sumas Prairie and Yarrow neighbourhoods rising water levels posed “a significant risk to life.” The port of Vancouver, the largest in Canada, was forced to suspend all rail access because of the flooding and landslides, halting shipments of food, fuel and other goods. Search crews, working alongside the military, planned to use heavy equipment and dog teams to continue their search for survivors. Blustery conditions are expected to continue, meteorologists warned.