No end to flood watch in British Columbia, as Environment Canada predicts more rain

VANCOUVER – No weather warnings or watches have been posted in British Columbia for the first time in weeks, but Environment Canada says heavier rains are on the way while flood watches are still in place for large parts of Vancouver Island and the southern interior coast.

Communities around the Strait of Georgia are also keeping a close eye on sea levels as more unusually high tides are forecast for the next few days, including Wednesday’s 4.9-metre high in Vancouver.

That’s slightly below the peak reached early Tuesday when parts of the city’s seawall and some lower streets were briefly flooded, although no major damage was reported.

The River Forecast Center maintains Flood Watches or High Flow Advisories for Vancouver Island and the Interior South Coast, including the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, Sea-to-Sky Region, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Weather bureau data shows Vancouver has recorded around 100 millimeters of rain since Christmas Eve and river forecasters say rain, warmer temperatures and snowmelt from pre-Christmas storms can cause flooding in the low areas.

In the mountains, avalanche conditions are rated as high in parts of southeastern British Columbia, where Avalanche Canada says recent heavy snow on a light snowpack has raised the risk to « very dangerous ».

It says human-triggered avalanches are « very likely », while conditions on the Coast Mountains, Vancouver Island, sections of the Okanagan, Shuswap and northwestern British Columbia are considered « considerable », with backcountry users advised to carefully assess their routes.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on December 28, 2022.


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