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Preparations Underway as More Flooding Possible in Low-lying Areas

Heavy rain is forecast in the coming days and residents of low-lying areas in the Cowichan Valley are warned to be prepared for more flooding.

Up to 35 millimetres of rain is forecast to fall in the region by early Monday morning.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District says sandbags are available at Bings Creek Recycling Centre, Peerless Road Recycling Centre in Ladysmith, and Meade Creek Recycling Centre in Lake Cowichan.

Sand and sandbags are also available across the road from the North Cowichan Works Yard on Sprott Road and all locations will be accessible 24-hours a day.

The CVRD says this weekend, a team of 30 Canadian Forces members will be on the ground in the most impacted communities of the region to support sandbagging and preparedness.

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The Canadian Red Cross is providing $2,000 per household to victims of flooding.

People can register with the Red Cross at the Cowichan Community Centre on November 28 and 29 from 9 am to 6 pm.

They can also phone the Red Cross to apply by calling 1 800 863-6582.

The regional district says the provincial government is providing assistance to help families repair homes and property damaged during flooding.

Information on how to apply and eligibility is available on the Emergency Management BC webpage.

The Metro Vancouver area and Fraser Valley are expected to receive heavy rainfall beginning tonight and Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton, and Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet are being closed this afternoon.

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Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon will also be closed today.

The Ministry of Transportation says the exact time and duration of closures will depend on the weather.

The ministry says highway infrastructure in these areas is extremely vulnerable following recent storms, and heavy rain in the forecast poses an additional risk.

The closures of the three highways will be re-evaluated on Sunday morning, and they will be reopened when it is safe to do so.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and BC Premier John Horgan said a committee of federal and provincial ministers will be established to guide immediate and ongoing support to families, businesses, and communities affected by the extreme weather events in the province.

In a joint statement on Friday, the two leaders said the new committee will ensure the people of British Columbia, including those in remote and Indigenous communities, have the immediate support and resources they need.

The joint federal-provincial committee will also collaborate on recovery and rebuilding efforts, including supporting the sectors that have been most impacted by the crisis.

In addition, Trudeau and Horgan announced the provincial and federal governments will match every dollar donated to the Canadian Red Cross British Columbia Floods & Extreme Weather Appeal.

This means that every dollar donated will become three dollars to support those affected by the floods.

The matching funds will be provided for individual and corporate donations for a 30 day period starting Friday, and retroactively for donations received since November 17 when the campaign began.

The prime minister toured flooded areas of the Fraser Valley on Friday and met with Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the mayor of Abbotsford, First Nations’ leaders, and volunteers before meeting with the Premier.

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