We wanted to keep you updated with the information on the current flood crisis in BC. Below we will add in any ongoing updates as necessary.
NEWEST UPDATE: December 8th, 2021
Hwy 1 – (Mainland) from Vancouver to Hope is open to public, some construction areas (drive with caution) some areas are single lane. (Vancouver Island “Malahat”) – open, 2-lanes full width.
Hwy 7 – North of the Fraser, open to public (some construction)
Hwy 3 – Hope to interior – essential travel only.
Hwy 11 – open
Hwy 99 – open
Please keep monitoring the DriveBC site for latest information.
- CP has been running for quite a while. CN opened Ashcroft subdivision late Saturday night. Both mainlines have no backlogs.
- CN and CP are now “directional running/coproduction: All westbound travel is on CN lines, and all eastbound trains are on CP lines (this process increases capacity/efficiency).
- “Slow orders” are still in place for sections that have had recent repairs. Both lines are performing ongoing monitoring and maintenance of repairs.
- Fraser River: Expected to rescind travel restriction orders soon.
- Vancouver/Fraser Port Authority: The potential strike action involving two drayage companies that serve VFPA has been averted.
- Lower mainland port authorities (Vancouver/Fraser, Nanaimo, Southern Gulf Islands and Royal Roads Port Authorities): 15% available.
- Prince Rupert: at 25% occupancy (75% available).
Aviation: Normal operations. No current or expected fuel constraints.
Supply chain: Fed/Prov industry working group meetings, including fuel, are ongoing.
Pipeline – TMX line running at reduced pressure. At this time next week TMX pipeline expected to be at full capacity. Lower mainland fuel supply is stable for all modes. TC chairs supply chain restoration group meeting planned for later today. Working closely with fuel supply sub group.
US Transhipments: In the past 24 hours, 134 in-transit trucks entered BC via US (this is approximately 50% less than Friday of last week). Since the beginning of the event, approx. 2800 trucks have travelled through the US route.
November 24th at 4:20 PM
The US Department of Transportation has announced emergency exemptions for certain regulatory requirements (i.e. US DOT#):
Key highlights of the regulatory relief provided by FMCSA include:
- The ability for Canadian trucking companies and drivers (holding class 1, 2 and 3 licences) to operate from Canada to other points in Canada through the United States without a US DOT#, provided they hold a valid National Safety Code (NSC) certificate number issued by the appropriate authority in the base jurisdiction and a proof of registration in Canada have not been assigned a Conditional or Unsatisfactory safety rating by their base jurisdiction.
- That FMCSA will not enforce specific parts of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Regime and Clearing House.
Requiring a DOT# was identified as an administrative challenge for in-transit movement of food and livestock in recent days.
You can find the announcements posted in full below:
Regional Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR § 390.23 No. 2021-010 – Canadian Motor Carriers And Drivers Providing Direct Assistance To The Flooding And Landslides Emergency In British Columbia
Notice of Enforcement Discretion Determination Regarding Canadian Motor Carriers and Drivers Providing Direct Assistance to the Flooding and Landslides Emergency in British Columbia
Wednesday, November 24th at 3:15 PM
Supply Chain Recovery Working Group
Survey: Supporting Essential and Priority Goods Movement
This survey is seeking input on critical essential goods that are necessary for the province of British Columbia to recover from the floods to help identify priorities for transportation as road and rail re-opens.
Tuesday, November 23 at 6:30 AM
Notice to industry: Information regarding certain labelling and packaging requirements for certain pre-packaged foods due to extreme flooding in British Columbia
Due to the extreme flooding in British Columbia (BC), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is providing the following information for regulated parties regarding labelling and packaging requirements for certain foods imported from the United States and sold at retail or to foodservice establishments in BC. There is no change to requirements for food sold at retail or to foodservice establishments in the rest of Canada.
Industry Engagement DivisionAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaGovernment of Canada
Monday, November 22nd at 4:30PM
Highway 3 has reopened in both directions between Hope and Princeton after closing earlier today, due to a washout between Hope and Princeton.
DriveBC made the announcement at 4PM today. Traffic has been reduced to single-lane alternating. Motorists taking the route for essential travel should expect “major” delays.
For the most current road conditions, check www.DriveBC.ca
Monday, November 22nd
Canadian Pacific to reopen B.C. rail corridor Tuesday; important work ahead to rebalance supply chain
Monday, November 22nd at 12:30 PM
Sections of Highway 1 open in Abbotsford for agricultural relief
Flood waters in the Abbotsford area continue to recede allowing the eastbound lanes on Highway 1 between Highway 11 east to Cole Road to be open for emergency access to agricultural operations in the area.
The two eastbound lanes will be used to provide two-way travel. As this is an active construction zone, drivers can expect speed restrictions, traffic control people and signage.
This segment of Highway 1 falls under the Province’s travel restrictions order. Essential purposes for travel are defined in the travel restrictions order through the Emergency Program Act. RCMP will be onsite to ensure essential access only, as defined by the order. All other vehicles will be turned around.
The section of Highway 1 between Cole Road and Yale Road, which also falls under the updated travel restrictions order, remains flooded. There is no estimated time of reopening.
For the most current road conditions, check www.DriveBC.ca
Sunday, November 21st, at 10 AM
Fuel Prioritization Order
We are writing this letter to update you on the Province’s November 19th Fuel Prioritization Order, Ministerial Order M451 to temporarily prioritize the supply of fuel to providers of essential vehicles (see Travel and fuel restrictions – Province of British Columbia).
As you are likely aware, the agriculture, food and fisheries sector, given its critical role in the provincial food system, has been deemed an essential service and agricultural and farm-use vehicles to be essential vehicles. The fuel limitations, therefore, do not apply to those vehicles and machines being used to support provincial food security. Those who currently use commercial fuel suppliers (i.e. cardlock locations) will continue to have unfettered access to fuel. For those who rely on other retail fuel locations, a provincial certification system is under development to support appropriate access.
The temporary fuel restriction has been put in place due to a very real need to temporarily ration fuel. The agriculture sector’s exemption has been granted because of the critical service it provides.
We expect further information on the certification system to be in place within the next day or two. Updates and the request for an Agriculture Essential Vehicle Certification can be found at the Ministry’s Flood Emergency webpage.
Should you need any additional information on this item, please reach out directly to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries staff at 1-888-221-7141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, November 20th at 6:30AM
Friday, November 19th, 2021 at 12:30PM
- The BC Government has confirmed just now that the food industry is considered an essential service. This was a concern for many of you we have spoken to as initial access to Highways 3 and 7 were restricted to essential services.
- CN has indicated there is no damage to structures on their rail route – just washouts and track coverage. Instability is the major area of concern that they’re exploring. They have already cleared the rails as far as Boston Bar and progressing to Lytton and Falls Creek. The middle of next week is the revised timeline which is better than initial reports had implied.
- There exists the possibility that the Nooksack River may permanently change course, draining into what used to be Sumas Lake and from there to the Fraser River. The water level continues to rise and is 3.5 metres deep. The military is on scene working with the city of Abbotsford to construct a levee several kilometers in length. This action should save the majority of the farmland and the highway but at the expense of several peoples homes. Today we learned that 10 homes in the area have been evacuated and will be lost.
- No great detail on Highway 5, though reports are the highway has major damage to at least five structures. There is no timeline but as per yesterday’s update this could take months to resolve.
- There has been no word on re-opening the trans mountain pipeline, so we will continue to look for updates.
CFIA and CBSA announced this morning a set of interim special measures for goods travelling from a Canadian point of origin to a Canadian destination through the United States. See below for full details. In summary:
- Electronic manifest requirements have been waived; manifest details will be filled manually at the border by US Customs and Border Protection officers.
- Bonded requirements for carriers have been waived.
- Essentially, any food shipment stranded on either side of Highways 3/5 can be routed through the US, provided the end destination is in Canada and all other conditions are met. I have attached the communique from below. For more information on USCBP electronic manifesting and bonds, please see the following link.
- We are trying to get an update on the status of the Port of Vancouver, which has about 20 vessels that are waiting for deliveries, while a couple hundred thousand tons of grain are stuck in transit. Will provide more information when available.
- Highway 1 on Vancouver Island, in both directions. Washout at Wellswood Rd (1 km north of Langford). Single lane alternating traffic. Travel is limited to essential travel only. No oversized loads. Expect major delays and congestion
- Also on Vancouver Island, Highway 19, in both directions. Roadway obstruction at Superior Rd (4 km north of Nanaimo). Detour in effect. Roadway reduced to one lane.
November 18th, 2021
This week BCFB has been working with other regional and national industry groups coordinated by Food & Beverage Canada to develop an assessment of the situation in BC and to identify potential options to alleviate pressure on the food supply. The output of these discussions was a risk analysis document outlining the current situation and industry recommendations, which has been shared with provincial, federal and municipal governments. A copy of this can be found here (Link to analysis doc on website)
Additionally, here is the most recent road and rail update from Emergency Management BC. BCFB will be getting another update this evening which we will share with you. The current priority of the government is the opening of Highways 3 and 7;
- Highway 3: This has debris requiring clearing but is considered the best option for commercial traffic. Clearing is starting with the hope of having a clear path over the weekend. Note that if the highway opens it will be for emergency and community use first.
- Highway 7: This is also a debris event (slide). It is open to single lane traffic with a focus exclusively on emergency evacuation. A geo technology survey is being undertaken to determine whether emergency access can be supported. This would allow passenger vehicles to leave the area but no freight. Once evacuation is done, then a further assessment would be undertaken to determine when freight traffic could be allowed.
- Highway 1 and 5 are closed for the foreseeable future (more than weeks). An assessment is currently underway to develop a more specific timeline.
- Highway 99 still presents some challenges, but they are trying for an emergency route by the end of the weekend.
- Both CN and CP rail lines have multiple impact sites and infrastructure threats along the Vancouver to Kamloops corridor. There is currently no official estimated time for re-opening. CN has been quoted in the news that it will take “several” days to repair the damage and restore service. In the same article, CP has been quoted as saying it will attempt to direct trains and goods to Portland, Oregon in the US.
- The Port of Vancouver is reporting that all rail service coming to and from the Port is halted. Vessel delays and heightened anchorage demand are expected due to disruptions to terminal operations.
- The Northern corridor and Port of Prince Rupert are open and fluid.
We also wanted to share these additional updates on activities underway to provide support and relief for our industry and others;
- As you will have seen yesterday, BC has declared a state of emergency and the federal government has authorized military support for the province.
- AAFC has confirmed it will resurrect the Round Table Briefings and updates initially started during Covid, and the BC Government has also reengaged the Industry Engagement Table. James Donaldson of BC Food & Beverage will be actively participating on both of those briefing groups.
- We can also confirm via AAFC that the federal government is in contact with various US departments regarding the potential to trans ship product through the U.S. and to identify any waivers/exemptions that will be required to facilitate that.
- CFIA is also fully engaged and have activated their emergency response system.
- AAFC is working with the Province of British Columbia and other federal government departments to assess the impact of this extreme weather event, minimize disruptions to local food supply chains and consider transportation alternatives. AAFC has heard the industry’s concerns regarding animal welfare, transportation, food supply/security and labour and input shortages.
- AAFC has received questions from grocery suppliers on alternatives for trucking goods into Vancouver’s Lower Mainland (i.e. trans-shipment through the United States); AAFC is reaching out to federal partners to discuss options. The highway on the US side is also experiencing flooding, though it is anticipated that it will be cleared faster than in Canada.