Editorial: Reasons to be ready

Secondary emergency route desperately needed in Agassiz and Harrison

Last week, the province’s auditor filed a report claiming we just aren’t ready for ‘the big one.’

The folks at Emergency Management B.C. are so busy dealing with the emergencies that occur on a daily basis (flooding, fires) that there is little time devoted to earthquake planning. That means two things.

One, emergencies do happen.

Two, now more than ever, British Columbians need to be prepared.

For as long as most can remember, a secondary emergency route has been a dire need in this area. In time of an emergency, residents may need to get out just as much as first responders need to get in. In Harrison, residents and visitors alike are geographically limited by one main road in and out. That doesn’t leave a lot of options in the face of an emergency. Last year, an interface fire along Rockwell Drive threatened homes and cut off traffic to the east side of the lake. Residents were unable to return home, and campers were unable to leave the area as firefighters worked to knock down the flames.

It was a stark reminder how dependent we are on roadways to move people, food and medicine.

In Agassiz, the railway snakes through town, cutting its way through Harrison Mills, dividing Agassiz, and running along Seabird Island. In early July last year, a train fire just west of Agassiz was quickly doused by firefighters. Only a few days later, Lac-Megantic suffered a disastrously different train episode, when one derailed and caused multiple explosions. Half of that town’s business core was destroyed, and the event is now the deadliest disaster in rail history in Canada.

While it’s no need to panic, we must always remain aware that the trains passing through our communities have potential to shut down roadways, at the very least.

Just Posted

Hope man receives letter of apology after being escorted out of Chilliwack library

Mike Wilson fears the same treatment he received Nov. 2 by security guards will happen to others

Kent, Harrison prepared for snow

Municipalities ready snow clearing strategies heading into colder months

Chilliwack school kids draw ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages on liquor store bags

Children from six elementary schools decorate bags as part of promotion created by local Mountie

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

Duo robs Harrison Hot Springs gas station

Husky manager planning to tighten security

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Coquihalla closed between Hope and Merritt

The highway is closed in the northbound lane

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Surrey boy’s birthday wish raises $13,500 for rescued farm animals

Matthew Farden received a large donation from the mister Blake Foundation towards a sanctuary farm.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

Most Read