Henry Braun said Thursday that water levels in Abbotsford continue to fluctuate in the Sumas Prairie area two days after an evacuation order was issued.
He said a broken water main is making it difficult to get water to farmers who defied the order, but efforts are underway to find and fix the leaks.
About 40 people remain in the evacuated farming area, and Braun said he believes most of them are farmers who should leave.
“These farms are second-, third-, maybe even fourth-generation farmers. They love their cattle. They love their land. They don’t want to move. I get that. They want to look after their investments,” he said.
Flooding took out equipment and barns, and in some cases, homes were submerged.
Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said Wednesday that thousands of animals have died as some farmers were forced to abandon their livestock and poultry.
Some animals in poor health will have to be euthanized, she said.