Rainfall warnings remain in effect for east, west Vancouver Island

Rainfall warnings remain in effect for east, west Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says rainfall warnings remain in effect for east and west Vancouver Island with up to 50 mm of rain expected in some parts.

The weather system that brought the heavy rain to B.C.’s coast over the past few days is expected to taper off for east Vancouver Island this afternoon, but heavy rains will continue on the west Island through to Friday night.

For West Vancouver Island, an additional 30 to 50 mm (three to five centimetres) is expected, while East Vancouver Island is expected to receive an additional 10 to 20 mm (one to two centimetres).

The warning for the east Island is in effect for Courtenay to Campbell River and Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay.

“A frontal system will continue to bring rain at times heavy to the BC south coast,” Environment Canada says 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.”

On Jan. 12, the River Forecast Centre issued flood watches for Southern Vancouver Island, Eastern Vancouver Island, and Central Vancouver Island and high streamflow advisories for Western Vancouver Island and Northern Vancouver Island.

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.

Additionally, Avalanche Canada has issued a level four out of five for avalanche risk on Vancouver Island.

“There’s a bit of uncertainty where we’re going to see rain, and where we’re going to see snow…But it looks like we’re getting really heavy snowfall in the alpine and that’s what’s leading to [the] high danger rating you’re seeing,” said Colin Garritty, a forecaster with Avalanche Canada.

READ MORE: Avalanche danger rating approaches highest level on Vancouver Island

-With files from CHEK’s Roger Collins and Dean Stoltz

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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