Search teams using dogs began searching for people whose cars may have been buried in landslides in the Canadian province of British Columbia on Tuesday, as the two largest railways in the country reported serious damage to their networks.
The storms, which began Sunday, destroyed roads in the Pacific province, forced the shutdown of an oil pipeline and limited land access to Vancouver, the largest city.
Canadian Pacific Rail said it was closing its Vancouver main line due to flooding, while Canadian National Railway said it experienced landslides and mudslides in southern British Columbia.
Some areas received eight inches (200 mm) of rain on Sunday, the amount that typically falls in a month.
More than 1,100 homes evacuated in Abbotsford, BC amid flood concerns
Rescue teams equipped with bulldozers and dogs will begin to dismantle large mounds of rubble that have clogged the roads.
“If a bit of machinery comes into contact with a vehicle or the dogs point to a person, that’s when we stop and … we dig by hand until we find what they were indicating, to confirm if it is a living victim or if it is of a recovery, “Capt. John Gormick said. of the Vancouver Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team told Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Police in Abbotsford, about 70 kilometers southeast of Vancouver, ordered parts of the city to be evacuated Tuesday.
Mud and debris landslides closed major roads
Authorities in Merritt, about 200 km (120 miles) northeast of Vancouver, ordered the 8,000 citizens to leave Monday when the river’s waters rose rapidly, but some are trapped in their homes, the city spokesman said. , Greg Lowis, to CBC.
“We do not trust the structural integrity of any of our bridges,” he said.
The landslides and floods come less than six months after wildfires swept through an entire city, as temperatures in the province soared during an unprecedented heat dome.
Mud landslides in British Columbia caught dozens of people in their vehicles as record rain fell
Helicopters carried out multiple missions Monday to rescue hundreds of people trapped in their vehicles when landslides cut a road near the mountainous city of Agassiz, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Vancouver.
The storms forced the shutdown of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries crude from Alberta to the Pacific coast. The line has a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day.