Weather wallop for Vancouver Island as season’s first big storm hits early

Weather wallop for Vancouver Island as season's first big storm hits early
File Photo
Parking lot near Horne Lake

Parking lots and roads were flooded on some parts of Vancouver Island Friday as Mother Nature’s latest weather wallop reminded Islanders that storm season is right around the corner.

“It will be wetter than we’ve seen really in months,” said Armell Castellan, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada. “It’s the first storm of significance since late winter, early spring.”

Environment Canada radar at 4:30 Friday afternoon showed a large swath of moderate to heavy rain hitting Central Vancouver Island.

“There will be 30 to 50 mm of widespread rainfall accumulations with some locations definitely seeing above that, closer to 70 to 75 mm likely in places like Port Renfrew and Tofino.

Rainfall warnings were in place for East Vancouver Island between Qualicum Beach and Fanny Bay, and from Courtenay to Campbell River.

Heavy rain fell in Port Alberni where 3rd Ave was closed between Dunbar St. & Bute St. due to flooding and in Courtenay vehicles were forced to navigate moderate flooding in the Superstore parking lot as storm drains backed up.

Strong winds caused several power outages as branches fell on power lines.

BC Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk says trees and branches stressed from summer drought are more susceptible to coming down in the storm.

“We can expect problems with this storm and certainly going forward. We had extreme heat, a very prolonged drought so we know that’s going to cause us some problems because the trees are weakened and we saw trees dry out and drop branches in the middle of summer so we know with this little bit of wind and rain there are going to be problems.

At 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, approximately 4500 BC Hydro customers across the South Coast are without power.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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