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British Columbia evacuates 800

More than 800 people were evacuated from a flood-drenched area of southwestern British Columbia, according to Shane Mills, spokesman for the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program.

BY TRAVIS DUNN | BALTIMORE | October 20, 2003

More than 800 people were evacuated over the weekend from a flood-drenched area of southwestern British Columbia, according to Shane Mills, spokesman for the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program.

In addition, two people drowned in the flooding, and two others have been declared missing, said Constable Michelle Friesen of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Three towns north of Vancouver, Squamish, Pemberton and Mount Currie, were hit the hardest by the weekend flooding, Mills said.

Pemberton, about 75 miles north of Vancouver, was only accessible by helicopter Monday, but workers from the Ministry of Transportation were working to establish temporary bridges in and out of the town.

Squamish, a city of 15,000 about 35 miles north of Vancouver, was still accessible by car on Monday, said Robin Arthurs, spokeswoman for the B.C. Emergency Operations Unit.

The number of homes affected by flooding was not known Monday, but Arthurs estimated that hundreds of homes in Squamish alone incurred at least some damage.

Provincial authorities set up emergency centers in Squamish and Pemberton, and 361 people had signed in at the Squamish center by Monday afternoon, she said. Evacuees were staying with friends and family or in local hotels.

Environment Canada predicted more rain for the rain through Friday.

"It's still raining up there," Mills said.

Mennonite Disaster Service, The Salvation Army and the Canadian Red Cross were monitoring the flood situation, according to representatives of those organizations.


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