People are encouraged to prepare for storms, heavy rain

Written by: Categories: Uncategorized

Source: BC Government News

People living on the South Coast are encouraged to prepare for a series of rainstorms starting Saturday, Jan. 27 and extending to Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024.

During the five days, Environment and Climate Change Canada is forecasting:

Otherwise known as an atmospheric river, narrow bands of heavy precipitation are common in British Columbia. Many occur every year, most frequently in the fall and winter. People are encouraged to check the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) weather page or mobile app for updated alerts and forecast rainfall totals.

Heavy rainfall, combined with mountain snow melt, may lead to pressure on B.C.’s river systems and potential flooding. Additionally, saturated soils combined with strong winds may result in tree damage and power outages.

While the forecast for wet and stormy weather is seasonally typical, the Province is monitoring conditions closely, working directly with communities on preparedness activities, and prepared to deploy as many as four million sandbags and other flood-related emergency-response strategies if needed.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre is closely monitoring forecasts and updating streamflow models, including effects of melting snow and rain-on-snow from warmer temperatures over the next few days and into next week. Advisories, watches and warnings will be issued or updated as needed.

Flood Watches are put in place when river levels are rising and may overflow. Currently, there are Flood Watches for the following areas:

High Streamflow Advisories are put in place when river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but no major flooding is expected and minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Currently, there are High Streamflow Advisories in place for the following regions:

Flood Warnings are put in place when river levels have flooded or will flood imminently. Currently, there are no Flood Warnings in place.

While this upcoming wet and stormy weather is seasonally typical, the Province is working to keep people and communities safe in the event of flooding:

People are asked to take precautions to ensure personal safety, including developing a household plan, putting together emergency kits, connecting with neighbours and learning about the local government emergency response plan for their area.

As well, people can take the following steps:

Protect your home:
People are advised to prepare for possible flooding of low-lying areas by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground, where possible. Clear perimeter drains, eavestroughs and gutters. Sandbags also help and can be made available through local governments.

Create grab-and-go bags:
Assemble an individual grab-and-go bag for each member of the household with the essentials they will need if asked to evacuate.

Recognize the danger signs:
If you live near a waterway, a change in water colour or rapid change in water level,especially a drop, could indicate a problem upstream. Call your local fire, police or public works department immediately if you suspect something is out of the ordinary.

If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies. Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.

In the event of flooding, some tips about what to avoid:

Steer clear of river shorelines:
Keep away from river edges and shorelines. During periods of high flow, river banks may be unstable and more prone to sudden collapse. Stay away and keep young children and pets away from the banks of fast-flowing streams and flooded areas or bridges.

Do not drive through flood water:
Extensive water pooling on roads can be expected. Never attempt to drive or walk in flood water. Approximately 15 centimetres (six inches) of fast-moving water can knock over an adult, and 61 centimetres (two feet) of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks.

Landslide risk:
Heavy rain may contribute to landslides and dangerous debris in creeks and waterways. Be safe and do not go to watch the rushing water. If trees are beginning to lean or bend near your home, or cracks are developing in a hillside, consult an engineer or contact local authorities.

There are more details in PreparedBC’s Flood Preparedness Guide. The guide contains useful information to help British Columbians better protect themselves and their homes and understand what to do if their home or community is at risk of flooding.

Driving safety:
Crashes can be prevented when motorists are prepared. Some helpful tips for travelling in wet weather and winter driving conditions:

Learn More:

Flood-risk information and active evacuation alerts and orders can be found at @EmergencyInfoBC on X (formerly Twitter), or:

River Forecast Centre:

Environment and Climate Change Canada for up-to-date forecasts and alerts:

PreparedBC Flood Preparedness Guide:

For tips about how to prepare grab-and-go bags, visit:

To pre-register with Emergency Support Services, visit:

Flood waters can quickly wash out roads and bridges. Be prepared and plan an alternative route. For the latest road conditions, visit: