Wednesday, November 17, 2021
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Devastating flooding in B.C. likely to cause significant supply chain issues for Alberta

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – One of the biggest concerns on this side of the Rockies when it comes to the impact of the catastrophic flooding in British Columbia is the supply chain.

With some highways and rail lines washed out, it’s without a doubt going to impact the flow of goods both to and from the west coast.

Trevor Lewington, the CEO of Economic Development Lethbridge, says it’s not a good situation. He says this will have a significant impact all across western Canada.

“You’re going to see a reduced amount of selection on store shelves for certain goods,” says Lewington. “This is inbound raw materials. Think about the produce from the lower mainland that comes into Alberta in our grocery stores all the way to supplies and materials coming from Asia to our manufacturers.”

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Lewington says even when some roads in B.C. do reopen, there could be shipping backlogs that could last, potentially, for months.

Even now, it’s being estimated that some highways in that province, especially the Coquihalla, could take most of next year to repair. Lewington says it’s not just as simple to find a new route to ship goods when there really isn’t any and he notes going south through the United States would add significant dollars to cost of shipping.

Lewington says to put into perspective just how bad the situation is, the Port of Vancouver which is the main shipping port for all of western Canada for imports and exports, is completely cut off by land and rail for the rest of the country.

Several communities in B.C. are flooded out. The City of Merritt in the interior has been completely evacuated since the weekend and officials there say that evacuation order may last for over a week yet. Merritt’s water treatment plant failed due to the flooding, forcing the city to shut off the water and have people leave for their own safety.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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