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Rainfall warning: Alert upgraded in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, up to 80 mm expected

While parts of southern B.C. are still racing to recover from previous storm damage, a weather alert for the Lower Mainland has been upgraded to a rainfall warning.
The region including Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley could get as much as 80 millimetres of rain by early Friday morning.

Northern sections of Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound will see the most, with up to 80 millimetres of rain by Thursday night. The Fraser Valley, which includes flood-stricken Abbotsford, will see 50 to 70.

“Environment and Climate Change Canada has forecast a series of storms with more atmospheric rivers predicted to come to British Columbia over the coming week,” Mike Farnworth, public safety minister, said in his daily flood update Wednesday.

“These storms are coming at a time when we’re already grappling with some of the most destructive weather we’ve ever seen. They’re coming as crews work day and night to repair the extensive damage from last week.”

Environment Canada says this storm will be shorter lived and less than the one recorded 10 days ago.

However, it could still bring heavy rain and strong winds, and Farnworth warned the ground is already saturated.

“Even a routine storm for this time of year can cause rivers and streams to rise faster and potentially flood,” he said.

“Although we are up to the challenge we are working through a monumental task.”

Freezing levels are also expected to rise above mountaintops, which could also lead to snowmelt and worsen conditions.

“Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Don’t approach washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts,” Environment Canada’s advisory says.

Farnworth said the province “is still in unchartered territory when it comes to these storms,” adding that the province has seen nearly a dozen atmospheric rivers since mid-September.

Residents living in flood zones are being reminded to have an emergency kit on hand and ensure their vehicle has gas and it parked in an area that will allow them to evacuate quickly if needed.

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