Public urged to be cautious as new storm hits Vancouver Island


Highway crews were out across mid and north Vancouver Island Wednesday preparing for yet another storm.

“Our crews have been going out the last few days just making sure our problem ditches and culverts are all clear and ready to handle the water,” said Chris Cowley of Mainroad North Island. “We’ve been checking the catch basins throughout the area as well. Lots of leaves come down in the fall and cover them which leads to flooding.”

The South Island was hit the hardest last week but areas farther north are likely to get the biggest drenching as another parade of storms is set to hit the Island.

Cowley says 80 to 200 millimetres of rain could fall across the mid and North Island depending on location.

“We have areas around Saratoga Beach and up on the north end around Holberg that are susceptible to flooding so we are watching those areas closely,” he said.

Cowley added that Highway 28 between Campbell River and Gold River is also prone to rock slides so motorists should be careful on that route.

BC Hydro says it’s monitoring the incoming weather closely and will be adjusting flows at both its Comox Lake dam and Campbell River dam in conjunction with tides and the heaviest rains.

“Like anything, it’s timing you know. It’s how high the tides are, how much the storm winds can push the storm surge into the estuary, how the Browns and Tsolum rivers react and how much water we can hold back here,” said BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson. “Campbell River is a larger system but similar so in this case, the King Tides aren’t aligning with the storm so that’s a good thing.”

BC Hydro is warning people to stay away from fast-flowing rivers.

“So, river flows here could adjust considerably so that’s why we have the public safety warning to please stay away from the river system,” added Watson.

Snow that has fallen in the mountains on Vancouver Island in recent storms will begin melting as the freezing levels rise in the coming storms.

This will add to runoff and potential flooding problems.

BC Hydro crews are also on standby as wind warnings were already in effect for many areas Wednesday afternoon.

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Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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