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

New event invites Agassiz to meet museum’s resident ghost

The Haunted Museum Tour will take place on Oct. 26 and 30

REAL ESTATE: Homesteading in the Cariboo a reality

Columnist Freddy Marks talks about why so many are looking to a ranch life when it comes to property

Chilliwack maternity ward gets bundle of new equipment

Breast pumps, small fridges for patient rooms and freezer for donor breast milk given to hospital

Liberal candidate Jati Sidhu backs out of four interview appointments with The News

Jati Sidhu, the Liberal incumbent in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, said he was too busy to talk

Highway 1, crime and pipeline debated at Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon forum

Five candidates for the riding debated the issues Thursday in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Agassiz lights candles in memory of missing, murdered Indigenous women

The Sisters in Spirit vigil took place at the Agassiz United Church

VIDEO: Townhouse fourth Maple Ridge blaze in less than a day

UPDATE: Fire victims have much to be thankful for, despite loss of pets on Thanksgiving Day

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read