British Columbia

This B.C. city had the rainiest summer on record in over 100 years

Prince Rupert residents only had one dry day during the entire month of August and got a third of their annual rainfall in three summer months.

Prince Rupert residents only had one dry day the entire month of August

Pounding rain has been a familiar sight on the streets of Prince Rupert, on B.C.'s North Coast this summer. The city broke a record for the most rain to fall there in a single summer in at least a century. (CBC News/Carolina de Ryk) (Carolina de Ryk/CBC)

The rain only stopped for one day this August in Prince Rupert, B.C., as the North Coast city experienced record-breaking rainfall this summer.

Dubbed the wettest city in the province, the northern community lived up to its reputation in June, July and August when a third of its average annual rainfall fell during those three months.

According to Environment Canada, a total of 800 mm of the wet stuff pelted Prince Rupert in that time period, making it the rainiest summer for the region in over 100 years.

"It was almost like the water torture test," said Environment Canada's Dave Phillips, speaking Wednesday on Daybreak North. "It was like the skids were greased, and just storm after storm, brothers and sisters of storms, just came through."

Phillips said two and a half times more rain fell on the city in August than normal, much of it due to a jet stream that hovered above northern and central B.C. for most of the summer.

There is one rainier August on record in 1969, said Phillips, but that August had seven days of sunshine and overall, summer 2020 was wetter when June and July are factored in.

"People are not griping for no reason," he said. "It's hard to find any redeeming aspect about the weather this summer."

Hans Seideman, born and raised in Prince Rupert, said if you live there, you have to expect to suck it up and weather a few storms but the long stretch of rain this summer would be hard on anyone's psyche.

"This summer has been awful and I think we are all just looking forward to it being over with and hopefully next year we get the opposite," said Seideman.

Be careful in the back country

It's a sentiment likely shared by local first responders. 

On Aug. 15, Terrace and Prince Rupert search and rescue members, along with the RCMP, had to come to the aid of a group of hikers who were trapped on Work Channel Road after a landslide.

Erik Brooke, search manager for the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue, said anyone exploring the back country should avoid areas where washouts and slides are possible after heavy rains.

This is something to keep in mind for fall as September has already kicked off on a wet note, with Phillips saying 25 mm of rainfall hit Rupert on Sept. 1.

Environment Canada is forecasting rain for the region until the weekend when it's possible Prince Rupert residents could catch a glimpse of sunshine Saturday.

With files from Daybreak North


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