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West Vancouver homes evacuated after heavy rain causes flooding

Dozens of West Vancouver residents were forced out of their homes after heavy rain flooded parts of the Caulfeild neighbourhood early Wednesday morning.

Heavy rain and debris caused Willow Creek to overflow and send water into 22 properties

Heavy rain flooded parts of the Caulfeild neighbourhood early Wednesday morning. 0:32

Dozens of West Vancouver residents were forced out of their homes after heavy rain flooded parts of the Caulfeild neighbourhood early Wednesday morning.

The flooding began around 12:30 a.m. PT when Willow Creek overflowed its banks and started gushing down several streets, including Keith Road and the 4400 block of Marine Drive.

Fire crews from both West Vancouver and North Vancouver arrived on the scene and waded through the cold, rushing water to help evacuate four homes.

Firefighters escort a couple and their dog through the flooded street. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Homes evacuated

"I was in shock for the first while," said Sid Pearson, who lives in one of the houses on Marine Drive that was evacuated.

"You don't expect to see a river coming into your front door."

Pearson says he and his family rushed to grab footwear and get their two big dogs out of the house.

Sid Pearson says his parents woke him up after they noticed large amounts of water coming into their basement. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

"That was the worst part, cause our oldest dog, he's about ten … I didn't think they were going to make it," he said. "But we're here now."

Pearson says although his family and dogs escaped safely, they left behind a number of precious items in their flooded basement.

"My dad has a pretty personal and nice collection of comic books downstairs … we know that they're gone," he said said.

"He's pretty upset … I know I am for sure, I enjoyed reading those.

"I've lived in West Vancouver my whole life, and I've never seen anything like this before. It's pretty scary," Pearson added.

A firefighter carries a young child to safety, wading straight through the rushing water on Marine Drive. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Gas and power outages

Several other houses were also flooded, but firefighters determined it was safe for those residents to remain in their homes, said Deputy Chief Tony D'Angelo.

"We have some people sheltered in place, and we're just looking after things right now," he said.

A few residents were allowed back inside their homes around 3 a.m. when the rain subsided, but most of the homes on Marine Drive were still without power and gas for most of the morning.

Officials said it is still to early to determine how many homes were damaged.

Water floods the intersection of Keith Road and Marine Drive in June of 2016. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)