VICTORIA — British Columbia’s agriculture minister says her federal counterpart will visit areas devastated by floods next week as they work to get a sense of damage caused to the farming industry. 

Lana Popham says 97 per cent of egg-laying chickens and 98 per cent of dairy cows on the Sumas Prairie survived the flooding. 

Popham says she’s asked ranchers and livestock operators to register with the province’s premises identification program, which can help the government track properties during emergencies.

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming says the government is in the planning stages on determining temporary measures to open major arteries between B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the Interior, including the Coquihalla, where five bridges were washed away. 

Many residents who were given little notice to leave Merritt, B.C., will be able to return home on Sunday if water samples come back clean, while those whose homes were the most damaged are allowed to go in during the day now to assess the situation. 

November saw record rainfall in numerous locations in southern B.C., turning rivers into torrents, flooding communities and causing mudslides that washed away highways. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press