Canadian soldiers arrive to help in Canadian flood recovery efforts

Rainy weather hasn’t stopped efforts to salvage what remains from British Columbia’s deadly floods. As of Monday, there were still 42 people unaccounted for, down from 60 last week. Since the water began rising…

Canadian soldiers arrive to help in Canadian flood recovery efforts

Rainy weather hasn’t stopped efforts to salvage what remains from British Columbia’s deadly floods. As of Monday, there were still 42 people unaccounted for, down from 60 last week. Since the water began rising in late July, about 800 homes and 55 businesses have been damaged.

About three dozen members of the Canadian Army have flown into Vancouver for a six-day contingent. The troops are being stationed at the Emergency Operations Centre and participating in a number of training activities.

“The purpose of this is really to support the Government of British Columbia in their ongoing efforts to do damage assessments and provide any emergency management and debris collection resources necessary to support ongoing recovery efforts,” Brigadier General Joe Hogg said, according to the government.

Hogg said the main focus of the army’s efforts during their deployment will be the assessment of the flooded areas. “This is our initial focus,” he said. “It’s not anything that will stop in the next few days; our focus will remain on the disaster recovery.”

According to the government, there are also 90 Canadian Army engineers who were also deployed. Their main focus during their deployment will be to mobilize equipment and troops to execute emergency response plans that have been put into place.

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According to the Associated Press, the Canadian military is deploying enough helicopters to transport up to 150 people to high ground. But the AP notes that its not clear how far helicopters will go given the fact that about 800 properties are still cut off from the outside world by floodwaters.

The government says that an estimated 36,000 homes and businesses have been hit by flooding so far and damages total about $540 million. In terms of infrastructure repairs, that number tops $200 million.

The devastating floods have also left local residents cleaning up debris in neighborhoods across the country’s west coast. Flooding is expected to continue for days, possibly weeks.

FOX News’ Mary Anne Ostrom contributed to this report.

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