Thu. May 26th, 2022

Time to sort your rainwear. Metro Vancouver is in heavy soak this weekend, weather forecasts say.

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With a downpour expected to soak the Metro Vancouver region this weekend, the city of Vancouver is urging more volunteers to clear catch basins to prevent flooding.

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There are about 1,500 volunteers in the city’s Adopt-a-Catch-Basin program, but with predictors calling for a more severe rainy season this winter, they hope to recruit more.

Environment and Climate Change Canada warns that floods are possible this weekend with up to 150 millimeters of rain expected in some areas from Friday to Saturday night. The highest amounts are likely to fall on Howe Sound and the North Shore.

As the freezing point rises to nearly 2,500 feet, the Federal Weather Service warns that snowmelt will increase runoff.

Swelling of local streams and localized flooding is likely, and the agency warns that heavy rainfall could cause flooding and water collection on roads.

Stock photo of a car driving through a flooded parking lot on Still Creek Drive in Burnaby.
Stock photo of a car driving through a flooded parking lot on Still Creek Drive in Burnaby. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Keeping the prison basins clear prevents costly flood damage to property, the city of Vancouver said in a news release Thursday. It also helps protect the water quality of species such as salmon by reducing the amount of waste swept into adjacent waterways that are also habitats.

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The city, which says it receives an average of 1,200 calls a year from residents reporting flooding from blocked fishing basins, will hold two clean-ups in the neighborhood that will include treats and hot chocolate.

The first will be on October 23 from kl. 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Kitsilano Community Center followed by another Nov. 6.

People are asked to RSVP to adoptacatchbasin@vancouver.ca if they want to participate. There are about 41,000 fishing basins available for adoption, according to the city.

Vancouver high school student Hailey Chen has been participating in the Adopt-a-Catch-Basin program for about two years, and she has adopted three catch basins that she volunteered time to clear.

“I thought adopting a catch basin was really interesting because we can all give back to society in small ways and generally have a greater impact,” Chen said.

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Vancouver high school student Hailey Chen volunteered to help with the city's Adopt-a-Catch-Basin program.
Vancouver high school student Hailey Chen volunteered to help with the city’s Adopt-a-Catch-Basin program. Photo by Sombilon Studios /PNG

Meanwhile, some weather forecasts predict that Vancouver may rain more than usual in the winter thanks to a La Niña event. AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Anderson said he believes Vancouver’s winter “will be wetter than the last five winters.”

However, environmental and climate change meteorologist Doug Lundquist said the forecast beyond 10 days is unreliable. He said there is a La Niña event in effect, which could mean a colder and wetter season, but he noted that it is a weak La Niña.

“I think at this point we really just have to wait and see,” he said.

The Federal Weather Service will announce its official winter outlook on December 1st.

Lundquist said the weekend’s atmospheric river will “sway like a garden snake” over the region with rain showers hitting areas like the North Shore and Mission hard. He expects up to 150 millimeters of rain in these areas, while the rest of Metro Vancouver is likely to see between 75 and 100 millimeters.

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He reiterated the city’s call for residents to clear their catch basins and watch out for floods.

Tips for clearing basins:

  • Do not use your hands to move leaves or dirt blocking the catch basins, instead use a long-handed rake, broom or shovel to remove materials.
  • Stay visible with light clothing or a safety vest when clearing your fishing pool.
  • Report hazardous materials
    Do not attempt to move or collect hazardous materials such as needles, broken glass or dead wildlife.
  • Report hazardous materials: report it online via VanConnect or phone 311.
  • Report discarded needles: phone The Mobile Needle Exchange at 604-657-6561.
  • Keep an eye on the traffic./ Pay attention to the traffic and stay away from the street whenever possible.
  • Remember COVID-19 measures. Keep physical distance to other sidewalks and road users. Consider wearing a mask while cleaning your catch basin.

(Source: City of Vancouver)

ticrawford@postmedia.com

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