- British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is bracing for additional rain just weeks after flooding and mudslides were caused by heavy rainfall.
- On November 17, BC, Premier John Horgan proclaimed a state of emergency as the province reeled from two days of severe rain.
British Columbia (BC), Canada’s westernmost province, braces for more rain just weeks after severe rains caused flooding and mudslides, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.
Mike Farnworth, the province’s public safety minister, told reporters on Tuesday that crews were attempting to shore up dikes and dams and that some highways would be closed as a precaution.
Flooding in British Columbia earlier this month created landslides that killed four people, cut off rail access to the country’s major port, trapped cars, and cost billions of dollars in damage.
“This could be the most powerful storm yet in some regions,” Farnworth warned. “The cumulative effect of these series of storms will be – and continues to be – a significant issue.”
Environment Canada reported on Tuesday morning that 6cm (2.4 inches) of rain might fall in the Metro Vancouver area through Wednesday, with up to 8cm (3.1 inches) possible on the province’s Sunshine Coast.
“The third atmospheric river in less than a week will bring severe rain to the south coast of British Columbia.” “Heavy rain will continue through Wednesday as a cold front passes across the region,” the weather service warned on its website.
“Heavy rains are anticipated to result in flash floods and water pooling on highways.” Localized flooding is possible in low-lying locations. “Avoid approaching washouts near rivers, creeks, or culverts.”
Beginning later Wednesday, sections of the province might receive up to 12cm (4.7 inches) of rain in less than 36 hours, according to officials.
British Columbia has experienced multiple extreme weather events in recent months, including a summer heatwave that killed hundreds and wrecked an entire community.
These fires may have stripped hills of vegetation, adding to flooding and mudslides, while experts warn that the climate issue makes weather events more extreme and frequent.
On November 17, BC, Premier John Horgan proclaimed a state of emergency as the province reeled from two days of severe rain. The federal government in Ottawa responded to the issue by deploying the air force to aid local authorities.
The BC government announced on Monday that, due to the persistent effects of the heavy rain, the provincial state of emergency, as well as an order limiting fuel consumption, would be extended until December 14.
Authorities in various sections of the province have issued “flood watch” alerts.
On Monday, the District of Hope in the Fraser Valley, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Vancouver, reported a local state of emergency and issued one evacuation order.
While the quantity of rainfall forecast between Tuesday and Thursday was not projected to be as big as what occurred on November 14 and 15, Mayor Peter Robb stated that the risk remained high.
“We are currently dealing with severely saturated soils, bank erosion, and numerous local streams that are still running at high levels,” he explained.
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