Rain, wind, high streamflow alerts for Vancouver Island

Rain, wind, high streamflow alerts for Vancouver Island

Rain and wind warnings have been issued for parts of Vancouver Island, while a high streamflow advisory is in effect for local rivers.

Environment Canada says the East Island is expected to see 60-80 mm of rain Tuesday to Wednesday, while the Inland Island could see 80-120 mm and the West Island could see 180-200 mm.

“The next Pacific weather system will move onshore Tuesday, bringing abundant moisture from the subtropics,” it says in the warnings, which were issued around 4 p.m. Monday.

“Rain is expected to start Tuesday morning and become heavy late in the day. As the system stalls over the region, rain will continue through Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, the North Island, including Haida Gwaii, is under a wind warning.

The weather agency says “very strong” southeasterly winds of 90-110 km/h are expected Tuesday and could lead to power outages.

READ ALSO: Thousands without power in Greater Victoria: BC Hydro

“Winds will ease over Haida Gwaii late Tuesday afternoon but persist through until Tuesday evening for the Central Coast and northern Vancouver Island,” it said.

“Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage…”

As of Monday afternoon, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Duncan, Victoria and surrounding areas were not included in Environment Canada’s rain or wind warnings.

River levels to rise

The River Forecast Centre says rivers are expected to rise due to the rainfall, with high flows likely across Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Howe Sound.

This has prompted a high streamflow advisory, and EmergencyInfoBC says people should stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks.

“Current forecasting is suggesting that flows are expected to be highest on West Vancouver Island, however, this could shift if higher than forecasted rainfall occurs in other areas,” B.C.’s Ministry of Forests said in an advisory at 2:45 p.m. Monday.

Drivers are encouraged to check DriveBC for road condition updates and to not drive through flooded areas. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods, water pooling on roads and localized flooding in low-lying areas.

“If visibility is reduced while driving, turn on your lights and maintain a safe following distance,” added Environment Canada. “Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.”

The weather agency’s alerts are posted on its website, and the River Forecast Centre posts updates here.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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