Environment Canada warns heavy rains approaching Vancouver Island
Environment Canada upgraded its storm warnings for Vancouver Island as heavy rains are expected to hit the south coast of British Columbia over the weekend.
The weather service says the rains will begin early Saturday morning and intensify throughout the day before easing Sunday morning.
Between 100 and 130 millimetres of rain is expected to fall on areas of the West Island, according to meteorologists, while eastern Vancouver Island will see between 50 and 70 millimetres.
"Strong warming will accompany this system causing snow levels to rise well above the mountaintops on Saturday," Environment Canada said in a statement Friday morning. "Snowmelt will contribute to run off, increasing the risk of flooding and possibly impacting vulnerable landscapes and infrastructure."
The rainstorm is just the latest to hit southwestern B.C., where crews are still cleaning up from severe floods and mudslides last week that left six people dead or missing.
Another larger storm is expected to arrive on Tuesday.
B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says people living in areas prone to flooding should be on alert. “The time to prepare is now,” Farnworth told a news conference Thursday.
Farnworth urged people to have food, water, blankets and flashlights ready in case of rising waters in their communities, as a second storm in a three-storm series is to arrive Saturday.
The warning came as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was preparing to visit the flood-damaged city of Abbotsford before meeting late Friday afternoon with Premier John Horgan in Victoria.
With files from The Canadian Press