East side of Vancouver Island to get 90 millimetres of rain
With a lot of melting snow combined with heavy rains in the Alberni Valley the Somass River is rising.
And those that live near it are once again on alert.
“We’re watching it very closely,” says Hugh Braker, a Tseshaht First Nation Councillor. “I’m actually monitoring the Ash River gauge about every three or four hours just to see if the river is coming up. That’s in the headwaters of the Somass system.”
The Band is also monitoring weather reports.
BC’s River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow warning.
It says forecasts don’t show rivers overflowing their banks but low-lying areas may experience minor flooding.
Last night a Pacific front brought heavy rains to West and Inland Vancouver Island of 50 to 100 millimetres and there will be a lot more rain by the time this storm is over.
“130 to 170 millimetres on the west side of Vancouver Island,” says Environment Canada Meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau. “Inland it will drop but still 90 to 120 millimetres and close to 90 millimetres by the time the storm is over for the east side of Vancouver Island.”
And the heavy snowpack may actually help prevent flooding as it’s “able to absorb a bit of rainfall so it can sometimes help mitigate a bit of the effects of these heavy rain events.”
What may also help those in the Alberni Valley is the still cool temperatures.
“We’re looking at temperature outside here in the valley bottom of about five degrees,” says Braker. “If this was a real pineapple express we’d be much higher than that and that would cause a much faster snow melt so we’re not getting the very fast snow melt that would’ve caused us a lot of danger.”
But with a whole lot of rain in the forecast, experts continue to say it is always best to expect the unexpected.