News / Vancouver

Rain storm douses B.C. coast…again

You might want to consider 'moving valuable items to higher levels,' advise meteorologists.

Two children are doused by a passing vehicle on Beach Avenue in Vancouver.

David P. Ball / Metro

Two children are doused by a passing vehicle on Beach Avenue in Vancouver.

Pedestrians and cyclists in Metro Vancouver got to save water for showering after they got utterly pummeled by spray from pooling lakes on some of local streets Sunday.

The water-clogged roadways were part of the latest winter rainstorm to douse the area this weekend, the second in a row to see severe rain and wind warnings from Environment Canada, which suggested residents "consider moving valuable items to higher levels" on Sunday morning.

Shortly before noon, the federal weather agency issued a warning of "strong winds that may cause damage" in the soutwest of the Metro region, including Richmond and Delta, thanks to an "intense frontal system with strong souterly winds."

It estimated winds blowing up to 70 kilometres an hour near the Haro Strait, through the Gulf islands and near the Georgia Strait.

That wind alert came just hours after the agency issued a rainfall warning for Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, West and North Vancouver and Coquitlam, warning of "heavy rain" — with a the most water pouring down onto the North Shore and Howe Sound — predicting up to 90 millimetres.

By comparison, even with the lowest prediction of 50 mm rainfall, that could beat that day's previous record precipitation of 50.6 mm set in 1991 in Vancouver, at 73.4 mm in West Vancouver.

"Heavy downpours are likely to cause flash floods and water pooling on roads," Environment Canada's alert warned at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. "Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Consider moving valuable items to higher levels."

According to B.C. Hydro, the latest winter storm to hit the south Coast knocked out power to nearly 5,000 in Whistler, Port Alberni, Powell River and Bamfield on Sunday, in addition to Saturday evening's outages to 2,850 in Victoria, Galiano Island and Sparwood.

But the winds didn't strand nearly as many as last weekend, when thousands spent holiday Monday at terminals. Nonetheless on Sunday, B.C. Ferries cancelled four sailings between Nanimo and Tsawwassen, as well as two between Vancouver and Victoria due to a "problem with a turbo charger that has limited the ability of the vessel to sail in severe wind."

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