After spending days camped out in their truck just outside of Hope — and a ride in a helicopter from a Good Samaritan — a Surrey family is finally back home Wednesday. Sat Pattar says she, her husband, her mom, and two young kids were on their way back from a trip to Kelowna – when they found themselves stuck on Highway 7 along with hundreds of others Sunday evening. She says they were fortunate to get a spot at a truck stop with a gas station, clean bathrooms, showers, a convenience store, and an eatery. Just as Pattar was getting ready to shell out $2,000 for a chopper to take her exhausted kids home, she got connected to someone flying people out for free.
The province has declared a state of emergency. The declaration took effect yesterday at noon. Premier John Horgan spoke to reporters shortly after, saying the order will preserve basic access to services and supplies for communities across the province. People are urged not to travel around B.C. unless absolutely necessary and the province will work to ensure essential goods, as well as medical and emergency services, can reach communities that need them. Horgan pleaded with British Columbians not to hoard items, saying, “what you need, your neighbors need as well.” The premier says he is confident the province can restore B.C.’s supply chains “in a quick and orderly manner” provided people do not hoard.
The Abbotsford Canucks have rescheduled their games that were originally slated for this Friday and Sunday due to the state of emergency caused by flooding in the Fraser Valley. The team says the games have been rescheduled for January 5th and January 10th. Tickets for this weekend’s games will remain valid and can be used for the rescheduled dates.
People in Abbotsford continue to hope for the best but they’re also preparing for the worst as the Sumas Prairie remains devastated by flooding. While water levels on the Fraser River continue to go down, the city has still been unable to open its flood gates. Until that can happen, Abbotsford won’t get all the relief it needs. Just two days ago, the city was worried the Barrowtown Pump Station was going to fail. That hasn’t happened, thanks in part to a massive volunteer effort that saw people fill and stack sandbags at the facility, creating a dam and keeping water out.
Thousands of farm animals in B-C have died in what officials are calling an agricultural disaster. The Chicken Farmers of Canada organization says dozens of farms under evacuation orders in the Fraser Valley region are poultry farms. The B-C Dairy Association says the flooding has put a strain on the industry, which is still reeling from a disastrous summer. The association says it’s unclear how many milking cows have died because of the floods.
Health Canada will reportedly approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 tomorrow. The Toronto Star reports a delivery of around three million pediatric doses is expected in the coming days, which would be enough for every single eligible child in that age group to receive one dose of the vaccine.
Transport trucks that have been stranded in Hope, B-C by floods and washouts since Sunday are finally on the move. The Ministry of Transportation says one lane of Highway 7 between Hope and Agassiz has reopened to commercial vehicles only, allowing them to begin heading west. The route will be closed again so repairs can resume once the trucks have passed.
Trans Mountain Corporation says it’s making every effort to re-start the pipeline it had to shut down Sunday when record rainfall swamped southern B-C. Up to 40 per cent of gasoline sold in the province normally arrives as a refined product through the Trans Mountain pipeline. B-C’s gasoline supply is secure for now because Parkland is continuing to operate its Burnaby refinery using existing crude inventories, while gasoline is also entering the province from Washington state. Some residents in communities affected by road washouts are experiencing long lines at gas stations and interruptions in supply, but experts say that should be temporary as floodwaters recede.
BC health officials announced 468 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 214,150. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 3,345 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 355 individuals are currently in hospital, 110 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Broken down by health region, the new cases and total active cases are as follows:
- Fraser Health: 173 new cases, 1,220 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 69 new cases, 505 total active cases
- Interior Health: 85 new cases, 612 total active cases
- Northern Health: 68 new cases, 489 total active cases
- Island Health: 72 new cases, 460 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, 59 total active cases
There have been nine COVID-19-related deaths over the past 24 hours, for a total of 2,290 deaths in BC. This includes five deaths in Fraser Health, one in Interior Health, two in Northern Health, and one in Island Health. To date, 91.2% of all eligible people 12 and older in BC have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 87.5% have received their second dose. From November 10 to November 16, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 60.4% of cases, and from November 3 to November 16, they accounted for 70.3% of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (November 10 to November 16) – Total 3,133
- Not vaccinated: 1,612 (55.6%)
- Partially vaccinated: 139 (4.8%)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,146 (39.6%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (November 3 to 16) – Total 342
- Not vaccinated: 210 (61.8%)
- Partially vaccinated: 29 (8.5%)
- Fully vaccinated: 101 (29.7%)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (November 10 to November 16)
- Not vaccinated: 205.9
- Partially vaccinated: 59.4
- Fully vaccinated: 26
Past two weeks, cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (November 3 to 16)
- Not vaccinated: 43.7
- Partially vaccinated: 17.8
- Fully vaccinated: 2.2
Ontario is prepared for the federal government to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in kids aged five to 11 tomorrow. Health Minister Christine Elliott says public health units have plans in place to roll out those vaccines. Elliott says the provincial vaccine booking system will start accepting kids’ appointments after the supply arrives.
A Surrey man is $500,000 richer after matching his numbers in a recent Daily Grand lottery. William Northcott checked his ticket where he bought it for the Oct. 28 draw, at a Circle K store on King George Highway, creating a lot of excitement there. “Everyone went crazy,” Northcott recalled in a BCLC news release. “We were high-fiving and cheering together. I first thought, ‘Wow, this is surreal. This is a lot of money.’” Northcott matched all five numbers to win one of the bonus draws for $25,000 a year for life. Instead, he selected the $500,000 lump-sum prize. An avid roller skater, the lotto winner says he plans to take a train ride from Surrey to Toronto, as he prefers that mode of transportation over flying. Now he also plans to retire earlier, and looks forward to spending more time with his grandson. So far in 2021, B.C. lottery players redeemed more than $7.6 million in winnings from Daily Grand, a nationwide lottery drawn on Mondays and Thursdays.