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Delta MLA Paton sees Abbotsford devastation (PHOTOS)

A reliable advanced warning system could have resulted in faster action and the saving of livestock, says Paton

It was a terrible, devastating scene for a farming community.

That’s how Delta South MLA Ian Paton described what he saw during a recent helicopter tour of Abbotsford and the extensive flooding in Sumas Prairie.

He took several startling photos of the aftermath.

Paton, who was touring Friday with members of the BC Chicken Growers' Association to see what barns may have been still accessible, noted the low-lying rural area in the eastern part of the community was particularly hard hit.

Paton, the Liberal agriculture critic, also took part in another helicopter tour today (Tuesday, Nov. 23) with Agriculture Minister Lana Popham and other officials.

He noted the loss of farm animals was immense with poultry loss estimated at 100,000 birds, at least, with many thousands of hogs and other animals also killed.

Dairy farmers were also hard hit but were able to organize to help each other truck out many cows, he said.

The BC Dairy Association estimates that at least 500 cows in the Fraser Valley were killed after last week's powerful atmospheric river brought torrential rain and flooding.

Paton added he helped organize a hay drive with Delta farmers last weekend, hoping to help their fellow farmers in Abbotsford, but that event was cancelled due to a lack of centralized area to distribute the donations. He said he’s hoping to try again this weekend.

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