Above: Cows that were stranded in a flooded barn are rescued after rainstorms lashed the western Canadian province of British Columbia, triggering landslides and floods, shutting highways, in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada November 16, 2021.
Towns and villages were evacuated on Tuesday and the Canadian agriculture in the area has taken a major hit, leaving thousands of farm animals dead.
Some animals are still trapped in the Canadian province, British Columbia, while floods and mudslides across the region have completely transformed the landscape.
A month’s worth of rain fell in the area in just 24 hours, an outcome officials say was caused by the climate crisis.
Motorboats and jetskis have been used to try and rescue animals, but the flood waters continue to rise.
A state of emergency has been declared in British Columbia and Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed to help rescue residents who have been trapped since Sunday.
Four hundred people are trapped in the town of Tulameen, according to Reuters, and thousands more are without power on both sides of the Canada-US border.
Farmers’ associations claimed an evacuation order went out to 121 dairy and poultry farms earlier this week.
Henry Baum, the mayor of the farming haven Abbotsford which was hit particularly hard, said: “I know it’s hard for farmers to leave their livestock, but people’s lives are more important to me right now than livestock or chickens.”
He later said: “If we have another weather event like we just went through, we’re in deep doo-doo.”
British Columbia Premier John Horgan said: “There’s not a person that hasn’t been affected or will not be affected by the events of this past weekend.
“These events are increasing in frequency due to human caused climate change.”
He said British Columbia must “bring the seven billion other souls that live on this planet to understand that we need to act now...to protect us from these types of events that will happen in the future”.
Agriculture minister for the Canadian province Lana Popham also pointed out: “There are probably hundreds of farms that have been affected by flooding. Some are still underwater, some are on dry land and we have thousands of animals that have perished. We have many, many more that are in difficult situations.”
Describing the floods as an animal welfare crisis, she predicted that even the animals which had been rescued were not necessarily in the clear.
Some would have be euthanised, while others would be in dire need of food in the next day or so.
The floods have blocked the roads too, meaning farmers cannot deliver their milk to the market and instead have to throw huge quantities away.
Just six months ago, British Columbia was hit by soaring temperatures that triggered 500 deaths and led to wildfires that hollowed out an entire town.
This extreme weather came just days after world leaders met in Glasgow to discuss reducing CO2 emissions to address the climate crisis.
Here are just a few pictures summarising the difficulties faced by people in both British Columbia and Washington state, in the US.
Cows that were stranded in a flooded barn are rescued by people in boats and a sea doo after rainstorms lashed the western Canadian province of British Columbia, Canada November 16, 2021.
Vehicle holding lot on fire surrounded by flood waters in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, November 17, 2021.
The damaged Coquihalla Highway 5 after mudslides near Coldwater River Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada, November 16, 2021.
RV trailers burn in a storage yard after rainstorms caused widespread flooding and landslides in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, November 17, 2021.
Flooding in the Sumas Prairie area of Abbotsford British Columbia, Canada, on November 17, 2021.
South Parallel road is submerged in flood water after rainstorms caused flooding and landslides in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada November 16, 2021.
A classic car is surrounded by flood water after rainstorms that hit both British Columbia and Washington state caused flooding on both sides of the border, in Sumas, Washington, US November 17, 2021.
Nate Blackwood, 11, of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, walks through his flooded front yard near the Skagit River, on November 17, 2021.
A car is seen partially submerged as floodwaters from the Skagit River inundate farmland outside of Burlington, Washington, on November 17, 2021.