British Columbia

Transit riders face delays as heavy rains flood stations in Metro Vancouver

Riders on the Millennium Line and West Coast Express are facing longer waits due to flooding.

Riders on Millennium Line, West Coast Express facing longer waits due to flooding

An ambulance drives through pooling water due to rainfall in Vancouver on Friday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Heavy rains and flooding have stalled the Friday afternoon commute for some transit riders in Metro Vancouver.

TransLink said the Millennium Line experienced delays due to flooding on the guideway in the tunnel between Burquitlam Station and Moody Centre Station.

The flooding has since been cleared up, but TransLink says riders may experience longer waits.

The Expo and Canada Lines are running without delay.

Passengers on the West Coast Express have been told parts of the Maple Meadows and Port Haney stations are flooded.

A Vancouver-bound Amtrak train had to stop in Seattle on Friday afternoon due to downed trees in its path. Amtrak said it will provide bus transportation between Seattle and Vancouver.

A number of weather warnings are in effect across the B.C. South Coast, with heavy downpours in the forecast from the western coast of Vancouver Island through the eastern Fraser Valley.

Up to 120 millimetres of rain are expected for much of the Island and the Valley, as well as Metro Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.

Howe Sound could see up to 130 millimetres before the weather system moves away on Saturday, according to Environment Canada.

People walk through the rain in Vancouver Friday. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

The rain began Thursday night as an intense low-pressure system swept through the region. Metro Vancouver, Bowen Island and Gibsons will see a brief reprieve from the rain Friday afternoon, but the weather agency is otherwise expecting incessant rain.

The downpour could cause flash floods and pools of water on the roads. Localized flooding is possible in low-lying areas.

Metro Vancouver and the North Shore are under a flood watch as rivers are expected to rise Friday and into Saturday.

B.C.'s River Forecast Centre says rivers will reach or exceed five-year flows, including the Coquitlam River and Alouette River.

It's advising the public to stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks while river levels are high.

Rain pools on the ground at Guelph Park in Vancouver. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Drivers are warned to watch for washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.

BC Hydro is proactively releasing water from the Alouette Reservoir in Maple Ridge, B.C., because the deluge could bring the reservoir to capacity. The Buntzen Lake recreation area in nearby Anmore is also closed for the day due to the rain.

Earlier this month, a number of snowstorms on the South Coast knocked out power to thousands and muddled traffic, while freezing temperatures broke records and rain continued throughout. 

CBC meteorologist Brett Soderholm said there was some form of precipitation at Vancouver International Airport every day during January, except for one date that didn't see any rain or snow — Jan. 9.

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