Torrential rainfall impacts roads and rivers across Vancouver Island

Torrential rainfall impacts roads and rivers across Vancouver Island

WATCH: The heavy rainstorm is leaving its mark on Vancouver Island and there is more water on the way. Rainfall warnings are still in place with more than 100 millimetres expected in some areas. Kendall Hanson has more. 

Firefighters work to pull a woman from the wreckage of a car after it slid off the Old Island Highway (Highway 19A) north of Qualicum Beach, plunged down an embankment and slammed into a tree.

RCMP are investigating the crash but the heavy rain created treacherous road conditions.

“Awful. We’ve had so much rain,” said Nick Acciavatti, fire chief of the Dashwood Fire Department. “There’s so much water on the roads right now that we’re just urging everybody to slow down and take care and drive with caution.”

Crews scrambling to deal with water on the roads as the downpour overwhelmed drains. A blocked culvert caused over eight centimetres of water to cover a section of the Old Island Highway.

“Right now, there’s a lot of localized flooding,” said Acciavatti. “Some ditches and culverts are backing up.”

The rain-swollen Englishman River overflowed its banks in Parksville, flooding Martindale Road.

And it’s the same elsewhere such as the Gold River.

Environment Canada says the storm saturated Vancouver Island with heavy rain for more than 30 hours.

“So totals around 40 to 50 millimetres around Victoria,” said Matt MacDonald, an Environment Canada meteorologist. “Up the east side of the island, kind of north of Qualicum, they’ve seen northwards of a 100 millimetres of rain. Same goes for Port Alberni and just to put that into perspective that’s about a third of the total monthly rainfall in just a two day period.”

BC Hydro is keeping close watch of the waterways near its dams.

It’s increasing its water release on the Campbell River system.

“This afternoon we’re increasing it a little bit more to 235 cubic meters per second so we have a safety notice out for people to stay away from Campbell River,” said Stephen Watson of BC Hydro. “Certainly upstream of Elk Falls people can view it from the safety of the Elk Falls suspension bridge. It is pretty impressive to see right now.”

Environment Canada says the storm will taper off tonight but another storm is expected Tuesday of next week.

Meanwhile, officials warn of local flooding and water covered roads. The passenger in the crash was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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