January to close as one of the wettest on record for parts of the Island

January to close as one of the wettest on record for parts of the Island
WatchVictoria International Airport records 5th most precipitation on record in January while the Comox Valley records the 2nd most precipitation on record.

The first month of 2020 will officially go down as one of the wettest January’s on record for some parts of Vancouver Island.

And who would know better than Canada Post letter carriers?

“I’ve got the Goretex on, the rain cape, some wool socks,” said Gary Goudreault was delivering mail in the rain in Courtenay Friday. “It’s been pretty wet. We’ve had the odd nice day but generally wet.”

Another “atmospheric river” soaked most parts of the island Friday, including Lake Cowichan where there was localized flooding.

The rains didn’t spare Greater Victoria either. At the Victoria International Airport, it has been one of the wettest January’s on record.

“Fifth wettest in nearly 100 years of records is actually quite remarkable,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan.

“Each individual event is maybe an average storm but when you put them back to back to back to back to back in one month then you start to see the numbers that are anomalous for a given month.”

The City of Courtenay has had its AquaDam in place in Lewis Park for most of the fall and winter and on Friday, crews were making sure it was ready to hold back the Puntledge River if water went over the banks in the current storm.

“If there’s any risk at all it will be during the roughly 10 a.m. high tide on Saturday so we’ll hold back as much water as we can during that period,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson.

BC Hydro has had the gates at the Comox Lake Dam fully open for much of January which is highly unusual.

Six hundred millimetres of precipitation has been recorded in the Comox Lake watershed in January, the second-most in 39 years of record-keeping.

January also saw a mid-month cold snap and snowstorm that blanketed the entire island making it one January most people will not forget.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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