Weather warnings, flood watch issued for parts of Vancouver Island

Weather warnings, flood watch issued for parts of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada has issued weather warnings for parts of Vancouver Island, and the River Forecast Centre has issued flood watch notices.

The wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria and the rain warning is for East and West Vancouver Island. An earlier wind warning for North Vancouver Island has ended.

For Greater Victoria, the warning is for the morning into the afternoon.

Greater Victoria will see southeast winds of 70 km/h gusting to 90.

“Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. High winds may result in power outages and fallen tree branches,” Environment Canada says in the notice on its website.

East and West Vancouver Island are expected to get rainfall of 50 to 100 mm (five to 10 centimetres).

For East Vancouver Island, the warning has been issued for Courtenay to Campbell River and Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay.

“A frontal system will give rain at times heavy to the BC south coast today and tonight,” Environment Canada said on its website.

“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. If visibility is reduced while driving, turn on your lights and maintain a safe following distance. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.”

Only Inland Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands are not under a weather warning on Thursday.

Flood watch and high streamflow advisories

The River Forecast Centre has issued flood watches or high streamflow advisories for all of Vancouver Island as a result of the forecast weather.

Southern Vancouver Island, Eastern Vancouver Island, and Central Vancouver Island are under a flood watch, while Western Vancouver Island and Northern Vancouver Island are under a high streamflow advisory.

“Rivers are expected to rise through Thursday, with current peak levels anticipated on Friday and into Saturday,” the River Forecast Centre says on the flood watch notice. “Weather forecasts and hydrologic modelling is indicating the potential for precipitation totals and river flows to reach or exceed 5-year return period values. Overbank flooding is possible at these levels.”

The flood warning system has three levels, with high streamflow advisories being the lowest, flood watch being the middle, and flood warning being the highest.

A high streamflow advisory means river levels are rising or are expected to rise rapidly but there is not expected to be major flooding. Minor flooding is possible.

A flood watch means the river levels will approach or may exceed bankfull and flooding in areas adjacent to the river may occur.

A flood warning means river levels will exceed or have exceeded bankfull and that flooding in areas adjacent to the river will result.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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