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B.C. residents urged to brace for heavy rains, snowmelt leading to possible flooding

Snowmelt combined with rainy weather ahead could lead to flooding
Traffic moves along highway 1 as heavy rains form an atmospheric river continue in Burnaby, B.C., Tuesday, November 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

British Columbians are being urged to prepare for heavy rains and snowmelt as the province gets ready for substantial precipitation along the coast in the coming days.

In a Monday (Jan. 10) afternoon news release, Emergency Management BC said that heavy rain is expected along the south coast, the Sunshine Coast and that strong winds are forecast to hit the central coast, north coast, Haida Gwaii and northern Vancouver Island.

The incoming rain, combined with heavy snow in recent weeks, is expected to raise river levels and lead to some localized flooding.

“The rainfall expected this week, combined with the melting of recent snow, is a concern. Rivers are expected to rise, resulting in possible flooding. Previously flooded areas may be more vulnerable,” the province said in a news release.

There is a high streamflow advisory in effect for the Howe Sound, Sunshine Coast, Sea-to-Sky, North Shore Mountains, Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, including the Chilliwack River and surrounding tributaries and Vancouver Island, according to the River Forecast Centre.

Emergency Management BC said residents can protect their homes by clearing gutters, maintaining perimeter drains, making sure downspouts are far enough away from the home and ensuring that nearby stormwater drains are free of leaves and blockage.

Individuals are also urge to store valuable belongings and documents in higher up places in their homes, prepare for power outages, develop an emergency plan and check on at-risk neighbours if the situation deteriorates. Sandbags to stop water may also be available from local governments.

READ MORE: Environment Canada warns of rapidly changing conditions amid B.C. winter storms


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