VICTORIA — Leaders from Washington state and British Columbia say they have reached an agreement to work together on redeveloping a flooding prevention plan and response for the Nooksack River.

Flooding in southern B.C. and northern Washington in November displaced an estimated 500 people south of the border and about 14,000 were forced to flee their homes on the Canadian side.

Rising water levels in the Nooksack contributed to flooding on the Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford and resulted in billions of dollars of damage to the province’s agriculture industry.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says in a release that flooding will continue to worsen in the face of population growth, development and climate change, and a long-term approach on both sides of the border is needed. 

B.C. has budgeted $1.5 billion over the next three years on recovery supports for people and communities impacted by the floods, and Premier John Horgan says having both U.S. and Canadian perspectives will help.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun has spoken of the need for more provincial and federal help in addressing flooding concerns related to the Nooksack. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press