Rainfall warnings remain in effect across Vancouver Island, extended into Thursday

Rainfall warnings remain in effect across Vancouver Island, extended into Thursday

Rainfall warnings remain in effect in southern BC and across Vancouver Island as the second in a series of atmospheric rivers sweeps into the province.

A series of atmospheric rivers were forecast to wash over British Columbia’s south coast, bringing up to 15 centimetres of rain that won’t relent until Thursday, Environment Canada says.

By the time a final burst hits tomorrow, some areas could see up to 150 millimetres of rain — including West Vancouver Island.

“A strong southwest flow has developed resulting in an atmospheric river embedded with a series of systems aimed towards the south coast,” reads a statement from Environment Canada. “Heavy rain will continue through today and ease to periods of light rain early Thursday morning.”

Rainfall warnings covered western Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast and southern coast, including Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. The storm’s first torrent on Tuesday was forecast to be followed by a second intense gush Wednesday and a final blast Thursday, said the weather office.

The eastern Vancouver Island and Inland Vancouver Island are expected to top out at 40-50 millimetres of rain by the end of this current storm.

The latest storm was forecast as the B.C. government extended the provincial state of emergency that was declared after storms in November washed away highways, flooded communities and killed five people.

In a statement, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the state of emergency is being extended until next Tuesday as work continues to repair damaged highways.

The River Forecast Centre is warning some roads near waterways could be washed out as a result of the most recent storm.

Forecasters said warmer temperatures would also lead to melting snowpacks as well as swelling waterways.

Emergency Management BC urged homeowners to prepare for potential floods by clearing storm drains, cleaning gutters and confirming where sandbags can be picked up from local governments.

The River Forecast Centre posted high streamflow advisories for rivers and creeks across all of Vancouver Island and the south coast.

Dave Campbell, the head of the centre, said in an interview that the forecast is common for this time of year, but residents need to be aware of the weather conditions.

There is potential for roads to be washed out and drivers need to take care if they have to travel, he said.

Avalanche Canada raised the risk of a slide on Vancouver Island, the south coast and Sea-to-Sky mountains to high, meaning very dangerous avalanche conditions exist.


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