Parts of BC’s south coast remain under weather warnings Thursday as the first of three expected atmospheric rivers hit the province.
Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound and West Vancouver Island remain under a rain warning.
Between 50 millimeters and 80 millimeters of rain is expected in Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound.
Environment Canada said the rain will be the heaviest Thursday as the storm moves over the south coast. The heavy rain will subside Thursday night as the system moves out of the region.
The rainfall is expected to be lower than the event of 13 to 15 November, which caused extensive and devastating floods, landslides and mudslides that killed five people.
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The mayor of Abbotsford will be keeping a “careful eye” on the Nooksack River over the next few days as heavy rainfall from another atmospheric river begins.
Flooding in the Washington River flooded into the BC city last week, contributing to the worst flooding Sumas Prairie has ever seen, Henry Braun said.
He said he does not know how much more the existing system will take, and he expects a call from the mayor of the border town of Sumas in Washington the moment its sirens go off for floods.
“We have done everything to move forward. Our dikes are now at a level they were before,” he said.
“What I’m worried about – and I mean worried, not just worried – is what Nooksack wants to do.”
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The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Management and Rural Development maintains a flood warning for the Sumas River, including the Sumas Prairie and the surrounding area.
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In addition, the River Forecast Center is upgrading the South Coast to flood monitoring, including Sea-to-Sky, including areas around Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton, the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, the North Shore Mountains and the Lower Mainland, including areas along the Fraser Valley and around Hope.
The organization said rivers are expected to rise on Thursday with potential for the highest streams around the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound and the North Shore Corridor.
While the rivers in the Fraser Valley are expected to rise, it will be more typical of fall storms, the forecast center said, but floods could be worse due to flooding, recovery efforts and damaged infrastructure.
The second storm over the weekend is currently expected to bring higher rainfall with warmer conditions, resulting in further snowmelt, the forecast center added.
There is potential for currents to reach 10-year to 50-year levels (or higher), probably Sunday or Monday.
On the Nooksack River in Washington State, the Northwest River Forecast Center (NOAA) currently predicts the potential for the Nooksack River to reach the flood stage at Cedarville and Ferndale on Friday and again on Sunday, with ongoing risks again later next week. said the forecast center.
A flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for Whatcom County and Nooksack River. The forecast center said overflows from the Nooksack River to the Sumas River drainage are possible, especially if more rain falls in the Nooksack River watershed.
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Meanwhile, a winter storm warning is in effect for Highway 3, Paulson Summit for Kootenay Pass and Trans-Canada Highway, Eagle Pass for Rogers Pass.
Dangerous winter conditions are expected in these areas, Environment Canada said.
The strong weather system will cause widespread snowfall from Thursday until Friday.
Friday is expected to be dry before the next storm system moves through on Saturday with another big one coming next Tuesday.
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