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'Heavy downpours' trigger rainfall warning in Metro Vancouver

Flood watches have been issued for some parts of the province.
Still Creek and Douglas Road in Burnaby, B.C., is frequently flooded after heavy rainfall. Environment Canada is warning drivers around Metro Vancouver to watch out, especially in low-lying areas where flooding may occur.

Environment Canada has extended rainfall warnings to Metro Vancouver as a low-pressure system brings heavy rain across B.C.’s coast.

The latest rainfall warning, issued early Wednesday, covers all of the North Shore, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Richmond and Delta. Between 40 and 80 millimetres of rain are expected across the region, with the heaviest amount expected on the northern reach of the region.

“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible,” notes Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Rainfall warnings now cover Howe Sound and the Sea to Sky corridor up to Whistler, where ip to 110 millimetres is expected.

The Sunshine Coast is expected to receive up to 80 millimetres, while large swaths of Vancouver Island — excluding the north end and a stretch of coast from Nanaimo to Victoria — are also under rainfall warning.

B.C.’s West Columbia region of the province, meanwhile, was issued a special weather statement Wednesday as between 30 and 50 millimetres of rain was expected to fall.

The wet weather has appeared as a low-pressure system bringing large amount of moisture from the tropics, including remnants of Typhoon Bolaven.

The BC River Forecast Centre has issued flood watches for the lower half of western Vancouver Island — when rising river levels “may approach or may exceed” their banks, possibly flooding adjacent areas.

The rest of the island, as well as the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, Upper Columbia and North and South Thompson regions remain under high streamflow advisories.

That’s when “river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible,” according to the centre.

Environment Canada expects the frontal band of rain to persist through Wednesday, delivering rainfall into the evening.