Two-day storm dissipates but leaves behind mudslides and flooded roads


WATCH: The sun was a welcome sight today after two days of some of the heaviest rains we’ve seen on Vancouver Island in a while. With up to 120 millimetres of rain falling on parts of the south Island, roads were flooded and washed out, and trees toppled. As we enjoy a brief reprieve from the wet weather, April Lawrence takes a look at some of the damage done.

The first storm of 2019 brought flooding and mudslides to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Heavy rainfall over a 48-hour period caused flooding in low-lying areas and mudslides near Lake Cowichan, on the Sooke Wilderness Trail and on Salt Spring Island.

Stewart Road in Saltspring remains blocked in both directions at the 200 block due to a mudslide, as the community is still trying to clean up after the severe windstorm that caused huge damage on the southern Gulf Island.

A washout led to a closure on Stewart Road on Salt Spring Island on Jan. 4, 2019. (Mainroad).

The southern section of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail (the Great Trail) is closed due to a mudslide. The closure is from Humpback Reservoir to the suspension bridge across the Goldstream River.

The north section of trail from the Goldstream River to Goldstream Heights remains open at this time.

The map of the closure on the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail due to a mudslide. (CRD).

The map of the closure on the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail due to a mudslide. (CRD).

Highway 18 reopened late Thursday afternoon after a mudslide six kilometres east of Lake Cowichan forced its closure.

Just over 50 millimetres of rain was recorded at Victoria Airport, but the rain was heaviest on the Malahat and in Bowser, causing treacherous road conditions. Drains were overwhelmed, and many roads flooded.

There is a new record for the greatest precipation in the Ucluelet area on Jan. 2 at 214.2 millimetres. Victoria also broke the record for greatest precipitation on Jan. 3 at 48.2 millimetres.

Along Shawnigan Lake to Mill Bay Road, both directions remain closed due to flooding between Deloume Road and Cameron Taggart Road, just one kilometre north of Mill Bay.

The Pacific Marine Road in Port Renfew is also closed between Fairy Road and Fairy Lake due to flooding.

WATCH: The Kennedy River west of Sutton pass between Ucluelet/Tofino and Port Alberni on Jan. 3, 2019.

Posted by Annie Campbell on Thursday, January 3, 2019

Both closures have no estimated time of opening.

The intersection at Chemainus and Crofton Roads was flooded Thursday night with motorists being detoured back to Island Highway at Mount Sicker Road.

A flooded intersection at Chemainus and Crofton roads on Jan. 3, 2018. (Trestan de Cunha).

A flooded intersection at Chemainus and Crofton roads on Jan. 3, 2018. (Trestan de Cunha).

High water levels were also seen away from the roads as well. Water was on the trails at Goldstream Provincial Park and Parksville, Parry’s RV Park and Campground flooded on Thursday as the Englishman River overflowed.

WATCH: Flooding on the trails at Goldstream Provincial Park on Jan. 3, 2019.



Duration 1m

Flooding at Parrys RV Park and Campbround in Parksville. (Leslie Vickers).

Flooding at Parrys RV Park and Campbround in Parksville. (Leslie Vickers).

And Cedar Grove RV Park and Campground in Qualicum Beach flooded as well. By Friday, waters had receded but Little Qualicum River was still close to its banks as of Friday.

Little Qualicum River at 0815hrs, just under the bank. Will monitor over the day. Stay safe folks and please slow down.

Posted by Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department on Friday, January 4, 2019

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is warning of wastewater discharge along additional shorelines in Greater Victoria including:

  • Between Rutland Road (Oak Bay) and Seaview Road (Saanich), including Cadboro Bay.
  • Between Trafalgar Park and Radcliffe Lane, including McNeill Bay in Oak Bay.
  • Between Fraser Street and Victoria View Road including Saxe Point, Macaulay Point and McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt.
  • Between Cook Street and St. Charles Street including Clover Point and Ross Bay in Victoria
  • Between Arbutus Cove Lane and Telegraph Bay Road including Arbutus Cove, Finnerty Cove and Telegraph Cove in Saanich.

The CRD said heavy rain combined stormwater and wastewater overflows along those shorelines. As a result of the discharges, residents are asked to avoid entering the waters along the affected shorelines as the wastewater.

The sign of the beach closure at McNeill Bay.

Environment Canada does say the storm is easing. All rainfall warnings have been removed for the island and the weather looking to clear up heading into the afternoon.

Following the winter storms across the province, Avalanche Canada is warning of a high possibility of slides in the mountains of B.C.’s south coast and the Sea to Sky region.

The fresh dump of snow may combine with expected heavy rain or wind to create dangerous conditions. There is an extreme avalanche risk in Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper national parks.

The daily avalanche bulletin for the mountain parks in Alberta and B.C. says they have received between 25 and 45 centimetres of snow in the past few days and it’s overloading a weak layer from mid-December.

Officials say the danger rating forecast for today is extreme, which means people should avoid all avalanche terrain because natural and human-triggered avalanches are certain.

Another 25 to 70 centimetres of snow is expected across the region before the storm ends tonight.

They say it’s creating the “perfect recipe for large avalanches stepping down into our persistent weak layers.”

Officials say the danger rating will continue to stay high which means travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

They remind visitors who travel into the backcountry that they are responsible for their own safety.

Avalanche Canada says heavy snow has also created a high possibility of slides on south coast and Vancouver Island mountains, as well as through most of east-central and southeastern B.C., meaning very dangerous avalanche conditions exist throughout Alberta and B.C.

With files from The Canadian Press

The washout on Stewart Road on Salt Spring Island on Jan. 4, 2019. (Mainroad).

The washout on Stewart Road on Salt Spring Island on Jan. 4, 2019. (Mainroad).


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