Atmospheric river passes in southern B.C., but Vancouver Island rivers still rising

Atmospheric river passes in southern B.C., but Vancouver Island rivers still rising

Rainfall warnings across Vancouver Island and the inner south coast have lifted in most areas, but the effects of British Columbia’s first atmospheric river of autumn could take a little longer to ease.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre posted flood watches across western Vancouver Island and for the Englishman River near Parksville, warning of levels seen only once every 10 years on some waterways.

High streamflow advisories and the risk of local flooding cover the rest of Vancouver Island, most of the inner south coast north of Vancouver and the Interior regions of the Upper Columbia, North and South Thompson.

Environment Canada says the mild, subtropical surge of moisture that created B.C.’s latest atmospheric river Tuesday and Wednesday had mostly passed, but forecasters expected showers to linger through the day.

The weather office says the storm had dumped 233 millimetres of rain at the Kennedy Lake forestry station east of Ucluelet by late Wednesday and at least 172 millimetres at the Tofino airport, while parts of Metro Vancouver received up to 100 millimetres.

The accumulations mark the heaviest downpours across the south coast in almost a year and Environment Canada records show the greatest deluge before that was during the atmospheric river in November 2021 that caused devastating flooding, washouts and landslides from Metro Vancouver to the southern Interior.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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