Updated Nov 18, 2021 - Energy & Environment

British Columbia declares state of emergency over floods

 The flooded Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.
The flooded Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, on Nov. 17. Photo: Taehoon Kim/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The premier of British Columbia, Canada, declared a state of emergency Wednesday following the "atmospheric river event" that brought record rainfall, flooding and mudslides to the Pacific Northwest.

The big picture: A woman died in a mudslide that swept away a B.C. highway Tuesday, and B.C. Premier John Horgan told reporters he expected more storm-related fatalities to be confirmed in the coming days. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deployed the country's military personnel to assist with rescue efforts on Wednesday.

  • The floods have displaced thousands of people, per CBC News.

Meanwhile, residents in the small U.S. border city of Sumas, Washington, were assessing property damage after floodwaters impacted three-quarters of homes, AP notes. The only river still under threat from flooding in the state is the Skagit.

  • A flood warning remained in effect for the river on Thursday.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: The floods were exacerbated by the wildfire season and heat waves that affected this region, which denuded hillsides of vegetation and led to mudslides and more runoff. It's an example of one climate disaster leading to another.

In photos: Floods ravage Washington state and British Columbia
 Nate Blackwood, 11, of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, pulls a rowboat out of his flooded front yard near the Skagit River, on November 17
People pull a rowboat from a flooded front yard near the Skagit River in Sedro-Woolley, Wash., on Nov. 17. Photo: Joe Nicholson/AFP via Getty Images
The Port of Vancouver as traffic is cut off by flooding in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.
Traffic at the Port of Vancouver, Canada's largest port, is cut off by flooding on Nov. 17. Photo: Taehoon Kim/Bloomberg via Getty Images
 A car is seen partially submerged as floodwaters from the Skagit River inundate farmland outside of Burlington, Washington, on November 17
A car is partially submerged as floodwaters from the Skagit River inundate farmland outside of Burlington, Wash., on Nov. 17. Photo: Joe Nicholson/AFP via Getty Images
 A fire at an RV dealership in the flooded Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Nov. 17
A fire at an RV dealership in the flooded Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford on Nov. 17 has complicated flood rescue efforts, local media report. Photo: Jimmy Jeong/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A woman in Burlington, Washington, fishes trash from the banks of a levee on the flooding Skagit River, on November 17
A woman in Burlington, Wash., fishes trash from the banks of a levee on the flooded Skagit River on Nov. 17. Photo: Joe Nicholson/AFP via Getty Images
An abandoned semi-truck on the side of a road during a flood in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Nov. 17
An abandoned semitruck on the side of a road during a flood in Abbotsford on Nov. 17. Photo: Jimmy Jeong/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
People on a rowboat in a flooded street in Sedro-Woolley near the Skagit River, on November 17
People on a rowboat in a flooded street in Sedro-Woolley, Wash., near the Skagit River, on Nov. 17. Photo: Joe Nicholson/AFP via Getty Images
  A view of flooding in the Sumas Prairie area of Abbotsford, Canada, on November 17.
A view of flooding in the Sumas Prairie area of Abbotsford on Nov. 17. Photo: Don MacKinnon/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: Extreme weather outruns the world

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more photos and details of the military deployment.

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