British Columbia

Flash floods 'likely' amid rainfall warning for Metro Vancouver

Up to 80 millimetres of rain is expected over the next 24 hours for parts of the South Coast.

Up to 80 mm of rain expected over next 24 hours for parts of South Coast

Cars drive through a heavily flooded section of East Hastings Street Sunday night. More flooding is possible Thursday evening with heavy downpours in the forecast, according to Environment Canada. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Rainfall warnings are in effect for Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley with heavy downpours making flash flooding likely.

Between 50 and 80 millimetres are expected for those regions between Thursday and Friday morning.

Environment Canada said that amount of rain is likely to cause flash floods, water pooling on the roads and localized flooding in low-lying areas.

Landslides could also happen in vulnerable areas like steep slopes, the agency said.

A City of Vancouver staffer works to clear a clogged storm drain during a storm that led to localized flooding in parts of the city on Oct. 29, 2018. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon said Coquitlam and the North Shore could see particularly heavy rain.

Sekhon said the weather is regular scheduled programming for the Vancouver area.

"I think we're getting back to normal after a drier-than-normal October that we've seen," said Sekhon.

The poor weather will ease off on Friday before the rain returns on Saturday, Sekhon said.

Localized Vancouver flooding

On Monday, several Vancouver roads flooded after 25 millimetres of rain fell in two hours.

Cars were abandoned after stalling in deep puddles and city crews said they didn't have the proper tools to clear clogged storm drains submerged by water nearly 30 centimetres deep.

A driver was forced to leave a BMW stalled in the middle of the street after heavy rain caused flooding on some Vancouver roads Sunday night. (GP Mendoza/CBC)

The city received 128 calls for flooding overnight.

Officials faced questions about preparedness the following morning, given that Vancouver's unusually dry October — but city engineering manager Jerry Dobrovolny said crews had been keeping up with preventative maintenance.

Dobrovolny called on the public to keep storm drains clear of leaves and other debris.

RCMP have reminded drivers to slow down and use caution on the roads in the event of dark, rainy weather.

The City of Vancouver has sent out the following tips for road safety: 

  • When driving: Slow down at intersections and wait until pedestrians have crossed the road. Make eye contact with people walking if possible. Do not pass people riding bikes unless you have 1.5 metres of space.
  • When cycling: Take it slow, especially at intersections and roundabouts. Make eye contact with other road users if possible. Use front and rear bike lights. Take bike routes where possible. Yield to people walking. 
  • When walking: When crossing the street, make eye contact with drivers and cyclists if possible. Wear bright or reflective clothing to be more visible in the dark. Don't jaywalk – use crosswalks and follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals. 

With files from Yvette Brend

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