Matt Herzog, director of Emergency Support Services (ESS) for the Town of Smithers, and five members of the Bulkley Valley Emergency Support Services team were deployed on Friday, Nov. 26, to the Abbotsford area to aid residents affected by flooding.
The volunteers joining Herzog are Captain Richard Ford, Captain Don Ford, ESS volunteer Gail Ford, Lieutenant Tom Kunkel, and RCM Dorothy Cardinal.
The team is currently deployed to provide registration referrals and support to evacuees and other ESS teams. Herzog is also providing management services for the City of Abbotsford.
They will be deployed until Dec. 5, with Herzog staying on in his capacity for the city.
“Our ESS teams have been in a constant state of deployment over the last year or more, with wildfires and flooding events, in our own area and across the province, so the Bulkley Valley team has gained valuable experience making it possible to contribute to the residents being displaced in the south right now and the other teams helping,” Herzog said.
“Right now we are helping evacuees with lodging, food and any incidentals they may need at the Tradex Centre registration and referral site, and helping other ESS teams in any way we can,” Herzog explained.
Abbotsford has recently been hit with several atmospheric river events that have led to historic flooding and damage to infrastructure systems. According to Environment Canada another system is expected to hit the Lower Mainland later today and tomorrow (Dec. 2).
“We are in the midst of this third intense storm and I know that in some parts of the Lower Mainland and in Victoria, there is a bit of a lull,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.
“But I want to make it clear to everyone: this storm is not over. There’s this little break right now, but the significant part of the storm is still to come throughout the rest of the day.”