Vancouver Island snow to be followed by storms

Vancouver Island snow to be followed by storms

WATCH: Officials are warning residents to be cautious around rivers and other waterways. This as storms are set to drench parts of Vancouver Island, the first beginning tonight. Kendall Hanson reports.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather advisory, and BC Hydro is asking people to stay away from Elk Falls and be very wary around the Campbell and Puntledge River systems.

These warnings after another jolt of winter was felt for many on the east side of the Island.

Those in higher elevations from Nanoose Bay to Campbell River woke up to snow. There were 15 centimetres in Courtenay alone.

“I don’t like it,” chuckled Courtenay resident Don Urquhart. “It’s a lot of shovelling.”

The snow contributed to numerous mishaps on roads.

Mount Washington also got a new 22 centimetres of snow adding to their 279-centimetre base.

Environment Canada predicted the snow would turn to rain, but instead sun and blue skies arrived .

“It was supposed to turn to rain and where’s the rain?” asked Urquhart.

But while this is the last of the snow in the forecast a series of new storms are on their way, the first is arriving tonight.

“This atmospheric river is forming right now,” said Stephen Watson of BC Hydro. “It’s going to start hitting Saturday around midnight through Sunday into Monday. The temperatures could have the freezing level go up to about 2000 meters but it shouldn’t stay there too long which is good.”

The City of Courtenay has one of its aqua dams in place since the last storm. Public works crews focused on clearing snow from streets today and will put the other aqua dam in the marked area  along Comox road Sunday morning.

It should prevent flooding from the Puntledge River into nearby businesses.

BC Hydro has been spilling water from the Comox Dam and John Hart Dam this week in advance of the coming storms.

“We’re looking at rainfall of 70 to 130 millimetres of rain Sunday through Monday but in a high scenario it could push higher than that and with the snow melt you never know what’s that’s going to contribute we’re still keeping on our eyes focused on this.” added Watson

BC Hydro says the outlook is little better than it was yesterday but it’s still urging people to use extreme caution around both their dams and the related river systems and to stay away from Elk Falls.

A coming winter storm officials hope will be less, not more, extreme than forecast.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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