BC Winter Floods 2021
On Sunday, 14 November 2021, the southern, central and coastal regions of British Columbia experienced a "pineapple express" storm which brought significant rainfall and intense wind. The result was massive damage caused to our provincial infrastructure over the following two days. Vancouver became cut-off from the rest of the province as all highways leading from Vancouver inland experienced washouts, mudslides, bridge losses, and flooding. Aside from highway damage, TransMountain and Enbridge both reported preventative pipeline shutdowns, BC Hydro experienced grid failures, municipal water and sewer services were incapacitated, and telecommunications were cutoff.
So what does all this mean for the Internet and its recovery? RhiCom purchases Internet transit (thee peering component for providing Internet to customers) from service providers both with core network in Vancouver where the Vancouver Internet Exchange is located. The two diverse routes RhiCom uses follow the Fraser Canyon (under the rail tracks) and the Coquihalla Highway (parallel to the highway). As a result of the washouts, both fibre routes have been badly damaged and have multiple breaks. In fact, as of 19 November, we have had no information or updates regarding the state of the Coquihalla fibre route and assume it to be lost completely for the next several months.
We will use this page to communicate our recovery progress as well as continue to post updates on our Facebook page. We expect recover to be technically complicated, logistically frustrating, and frankly exhausting. After seeing videos and pictures of the damage to our provincial infrastructure, it is anyone's guess how long reconstruction will take as assessments are still ongoing and some areas of damage are not geologically stable. Recovery is further complicated by existing supply chain issues.