By Dave Earle, President & CEO of the BC Trucking Association
(Langley, Nov. 29, 2021)- In mid-November, southern British Columbia was hit with an atmospheric river, which led to unprecedented flooding and mudslides, and left a trail of devastation in its path. Cities and communities in the Fraser Valley were engulfed in water, displacing over 15,000 people as homes and belongings were destroyed and washed away. Almost all of the roads and highways that connect the Interior to the Coast were extremely damaged, and in some cases obliterated, severing access to the Port of Vancouver. BC will be feeling the effects of this record-breaking natural disaster for quite some time as we deal with the havoc in its wake.
All major inland routes have experienced washouts. To be clear, not some but ALL were damaged. So much destruction occurred to our infrastructure in so little time, and it was unlike anything anyone has ever seen in this province. The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure was quick to assess the damage once the floodwater receded and began repairing where they could.
However, considering all that has happened, goods keep moving. Commercial drivers are working hard to navigate new and extended routes to ensure essentials get to the areas that need it most. Trucks transport nearly all consumer goods in BC, and drivers are the ones responsible for routinely providing us with the quality of life we have come to expect. As a critical link of the supply chain, these frontline workers have time and again dedicated themselves to ensuring we have the vital supplies that we need while often putting themselves at risk— for that we thank you. Resiliency and innovation are what the commercial transportation industry is built on and overcoming challenges we’ve been faced with over the years has led to a level of ingenuity that’s unparalleled. Not only did our industry have to rapidly reconfigure the supply chain to adapt to available routes, but they were also quick to facilitate in-transit goods movement through the United States as another transport option to ensure delivery of goods. Our sincere appreciation and gratitude goes to all drivers and those who support them as they continue to face unprecedented obstacles getting goods to their destinations.
The trucking community is always there to support, whether on or off the road. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by this disaster, and to the family and friends of the lives that were tragically lost. Trucks For Change, the Canadian Trucking Alliance, and the provincial trucking associations, including the BC Trucking Association (BCTA), have partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to raise funds for individuals and communities affected by the devastating floods. For more information and to donate to this important cause, please click here.
No matter what adversity we are faced with, British Columbians rise to the challenge again and again by coming together. A big thank you goes to all of the emergency response workers and road crews who are working around the clock to restore our highways. A lot of changes are happening as we work together to remove as many obstacles as possible to facilitate goods movement, and the team at BCTA is working hard to keep members up to date with everything they need to know that may affect their operations. The latest flood information that relates to the transportation industry can also be found on our website, BCTrucking.com. Please stay safe and reach out to us if you have any questions—together we will get through this because we are BC Strong.