Cullen calls for overdue Bella Coola flood infrastructure

The devastating flooding that has pounded the Bella Coola Valley for several weeks could have been mitigated had the federal government heeded repeated calls from the region for flood control, MP Nathan Cullen said today.

“For many years the region has been calling for flood control funding and all levels of government have turned their backs,” Cullen charged.  “The problems in Bella Coola now are a direct result of this neglect.

“Time and time again, we’ve seen communities across the riding and country hammered by weather events whose impact would have been greatly reduced had there been proper protective infrastructure in place.”

Cullen will travel to the Bella Coola Valley on Friday to meet first-hand with affected residents, local officials and emergency responders.  He has been in close contact with the Central Coast Regional District, the Nuxalk First Nation and community members since heavy rains unleashed massive flooding and forced hundreds of people from their homes last month.

“After the first reports of flooding last month, I spoke with the three cabinet ministers in charge of emergency response to make them aware of the situation and put the needs of the Bella Coola Valley front and centre on federal radar screens,” Cullen said. 

A new State of Local Emergency was declared in Bella Coola last night, where heavy rainfall warnings remain in effect.  Environment Canada says another 70 millimetres of rain will fall by Thursday.