Heavy rains flood and isolate parts of U.S. Pacific Northwest, Canada

Parts of the U.S. Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada, are still reeling tonight from record rain that touched off flooding and mudslides. John Yang reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Parts of the U.S. Pacific Northwest are still reeling tonight from record rain that touched off flooding and mudslides. And Canadian officials have declared an emergency in British Columbia.

    John Yang has our report.

  • John Yang:

    Days of heavy rain have transformed parts of Washington state into marshland. The small town of Sumas was submerged. Local officials estimate that about three-quarters of the homes have water damage.

    Hundreds of people were evacuated.

    Sumas mayor Kyle Christensen:

    Kyle Christensen, Mayor of Sumas, Washington: We're very thankful we haven't had any injuries or loss of life. That always was our biggest concern.

  • John Yang:

    In the northern city of Everson, a father is missing, after his car was swept away on Monday. At the time, his son was on the phone with him.

    Luis Garcia, Son of Missing Flood Victim: The last words I heard my dad say is, "Come take me out, please." He was pleading me to jump in there and take him out.

  • John Yang:

    After work crews cleared many roads, the Washington Transportation Department said today there are still several state highways closed due to flooding.

    In some parts of the state, like in Mount Vernon north of Seattle, waters have begun to recede, but many have lost power and suffered property damage. On Monday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a severe weather state of emergency for 14 counties in the western part of the state.

    The effects are also being felt across the border in Canada's British Columbia province. The Canadian government said today it's marshaling its air force to assist the province with evacuations and to support supply lines. Days of downpours in British Columbia triggered floods and mudslides that shut down critical highways and railways to Vancouver, cutting off its major port.

    At least one person was killed by the mudslides. Helicopter teams had to rescue drivers. Some residents in the city of Abbotsford used what they had available, riding jet skis to mount cattle rescue operations.

    Henry Braun, Mayor of Abbotsford, Canada: The farmers are very adaptive to dealing with the situations and figuring out how to do things, but we need to get some more help here from our province.

  • John Yang:

    Several towns in Western Canada have been isolated by the storms, which have cut off transportation and choked supply lines. At least one town is reporting a shortage of food.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm John Yang.

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