Heavy rain sweeps across southern B.C. as rivers, streams already swollen

Environment Canada has issued heavy rain and weather warnings for Metro Vancouver, as a major storm hits the South Coast. Kate Walker has the latest.

By Charlie Carey and the Canadian Press

A big storm hit southern B.C. Monday, bringing heavy rain and localized flooding to many parts of the province.

CityNews Meteorologist Michael Kuss says the heaviest rain was forecast for the afternoon in the Lower Mainland, and will continue until around midnight.

“Expect a widespread 30 to 50 millimetres of precipitation,” Kuss said, adding rainfall totals could top 70 millimetres on the North Shore.

He explains the region has already seen around 30 to 60 millimetres of rain since Thursday, “so the rivers and streams are already swollen.”

“Add today’s rainfall and a melting snowpack and that will put our waterways to near capacity,” he said.

Throughout Monday, CityNews has received reports of severe flooding on the several roads in Metro Vancouver, including Dawson Street and Gilmore Avenue in Burnaby, around the Commercial SkyTrain station, and along the Knight Street Bridge, to name a few.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) says the storm is also bringing snow at higher elevations.

It says the storm is forecast to be weaker than the November 2021 atmospheric river that triggered massive floods in the Fraser Valley, created slides that cut off major highway and rail links, and overflowed dikes threatening communities and forcing evacuations.

A special weather statement from ECCC says elevated ocean water levels near Metro Vancouver, the southern Gulf Islands, and the Saanich Peninsula are expected to create high astronomical tides.

It says minor coastal flooding is possible along exposed shorelines and the elevated water levels at high tide are expected to persist until Tuesday.

Kuss notes that Monday’s front won’t be a major wind event for the South Coast, but from the North Coast to Northern Vancouver Island, he expects winds to gust around 100 km/h.

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