Another atmospheric river on the way for B.C.'s southern coast

Liam Ford

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Flooding on Highway 11. More rain is on the way.| B.C. Ministry of Transportation

VANCOUVER, BC — The third of three atmospheric rivers is set to sweep over B.C.’s rain-lashed southern coast.

“A prolonged period of heavy rain” is expected today through Wednesday, Environment Canada said in a weather alert.

Another 60–80 mm of rainfall is expected over flood-ravaged Abbotsford, it said.

Chilliwack, Coquitlam, and southern sections of the Sunshine Coast should expect the same.

Up to 120 mm of rain are forecast for the North Shore Mountains and Squamish.

Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster will get off relatively easy, with up to 60 mm of rain.

The atmospheric river coincides with rising freezing levels and increased snowmelt that may add runoff to the mix.

Flash floods and water pooling on roadways are likely, as is flooding in low-lying areas.

Highway alerts are in effect for the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt, and the Sea to Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler.

Hazardous driving conditions are expected, and vulnerable landscape and infrastructure may be affected.

Yesterday, the Government of B.C. extended the provincial state of emergency declared due to flooding on Nov. 17.

The 30-litre limit on fuel per trip to the gas station on non-essential vehicles remains in place until Dec. 14 at midnight, the Ministry of Public Safety said in a news release. The limit applies to the Lower Mainland, Sea to Sky, Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island.

Non-essential travel along severely damaged highways also remains in place, affecting segments of Highway 99, 3, and 7.

Thursday should bring a break in the storm, with clear skies and a high of 8 C in Vancouver. But the respite will be short-lived as clouds roll in Friday, and the rain returns Saturday.

Vancouver has seen nearly 300 mm of rain so far this November, according to weatherstats.ca.

November 2020 saw a total of 185.4 mm.

The wettest November in the past 25 years was in 2006, with 349 mm of precipitation.

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Hard news from the Pacific Northwest | News tips? Email hello@liamford.com | Freelance reporter | Former Vancouver Sun desker | Langara Journalism '08

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