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More atmospheric rivers set to pummel southern B.C.

‘These are non-negligible totals and likely to exacerbate the conditions on the ground,’ says top meteorologist
FILE – A boat speeds along a flooded highway 1 in Abbotsford, B.C., Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The forecast for British Columbia is very wet – that’s the long and short of it, according to Environment Canada’s top meteorologists.

Southern B.C. is still recovering from the devastation caused by last week’s atmospheric river – a weather event that brings copious amounts of rain over a short amount of time.

In the Lower Mainland, the already heavy hit Abbotsford to Hope is expected to see downpour beginning Monday night (Nov. 22), emergency preparedness meteorologist Armel Castellan said during a news conference.

The amount of rain could range from 40 to 70 millimetres. In mountain ranges in the North Shore, these amounts could reach 100 millimetres.

“Please keep in mind, these are non-negligible totals and likely to exacerbate the conditions on the ground,”Castellan said.

Following Monday’s overnight rainfall, there will be a break in stormy weather, with Saturday seeing yet another atmospheric river.

The next set of storms come as the regions begin to see reprieve from the last rainfall with flooding starting to recede after a few days of sunny.

But soil remains highly saturated, making risk for further slides high – consequences that have the potential to reverse some of the work already done by emergency crews in clearing highways.

Meanwhile, an atmospheric river system pummelled the north coast over the weekend, sparking a flood watch to be issued for Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert and Kitimat by the B.C. River Forecast Centre.

Snowmelt at lower elevations will add to the runoff, sparking warnings around fast-moving rivers.

In a separate news conference, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth called the situation dynamic and Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said that extra crews are on standby to respond to further damage from the weather.

Under the province’s state of emergency, two orders are in effect – the first limiting gas purchases to 30 litres at a time in most of southern B.C., and a restriction on non-essential travel along any highways that were impacted by flooding, such as Highway 3, 7 and 99.

More to come.


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About the Author: Ashley Wadhwani-Smith

I began my journalistic journey at Black Press Media as a community reporter in my hometown of Maple Ridge, B.C.
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