Fall storms are on the way after mild start to the season on Vancouver Island

WatchMonday marked the first day of fall, and it felt like it, with rain and cooler temperatures now upon us. The season is starting out relatively mild but as Skye Ryan reports, fall storms can pack a punch that officials are urging us to get ready for.

Rainy days that are quite common during the fall months have arrived like clockwork on Vancouver Island.

The weather is giving pink salmon the water levels they need to make their run upriver. Nanaimo resident Glen Baggott says he is glad to be out watching the salmon.

“It’s great,” said Bagott while out walking along the river Monday.

But fall can be fierce on the Island. In recent years, some of the most intense storms ever have been recorded.

“This is part of the contract of living out here,” said BC Hydro’s Ted Olynyk.

“This is when things really start to hit us and remind us that we’re living on the Pacific Ocean.”

A round of December 2018 storms was the most severe ever to hit BC Hydro operations. A total of 750,000 customers did not have power on the south coast after high winds and rains uprooted trees and brought down power lines in swaths across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

“We know from the studies we’ve done and the studies we’ve seen that we can expect more storms,” said Olynyk.

“More severe storms, unfortunately through the season,” he said.

So officials are urging people to get their emergency kits ready now, with climate change expected to continue to intensify storms going forward.

“Storms are going to be more frequent and more intense,” said Olynyk.

“It’s all part of climate change. We need to adapt to it,” he said.

The gentle rains of early fall typically gives way to stronger storms in October and November.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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