3 months worth of rain fell in November in many BC locations

Rainfall records smashed

Port Renfrew knows all about rain.

But the small community on the southern edge of Vancouver Island has never seen so much — and so quickly.

By the end of November, 1,189 millimetres of precipitation had hit the ground there — more than double the amount Port Renfrew usually sees in November.

And it was raining again Wednesday.

To put things in perspective, Port Renfrew’s November rainfall eclipsed the amount of precipitation Greater Victoria typically receives in an entire year, according to Environment Canada.

The Port Renfrew Volunteer Fire Department used its usual Tuesday practice time to fill and distribute sandbags for homes in danger of more flooding, as the last of three atmospheric rivers soaked the west coast and other parts of the Island on Wednesday.

Fire Chief William Toulmin said localized flooding continues to affect roads and homes in the area. Some roadways are down to single lanes or closed as king tides and heavy rains combine to flood the San Juan River Estuary.

Toulmin said seasonally high tides over the next 60 days will be an added concern if heavy rains continue into December and January. “All things considered, we’re holding up pretty well,” said Toulmin. “People are saying we’re used to the rain, but this is nuts.”

Katie Nott, who manages the Trail Head and Wild Renfrew resorts, said during heavy rains in mid-November, logs were floating in the parking lot of the local pub, and water covered the road on the Circle Route to Lake Cowichan near Fairy Lake, and caused a sinkhole near Jordan River.

She said some residents have taken refuge in the resorts after their homes were flooded, but overall, the damage is not as severe as in other parts of the Island or province.

Rainfall was expected to give way to cooler and drier conditions Thursday and early Friday over much of the Island, but another system will move in quickly, bringing showers and possible snow flurries to some parts of the central and north Island, Environment Canada said.

Rain is expected to continue next week, but it will be less intense than the province has seen over the past two weeks.

Weather stations in Nanaimo, Victoria and Abbotsford all broke seasonal precipitation records for September, October and November combined, ?says meteorologist Armel Castellan of Environment Canada.

Temperature records were also broken Wednesday. Castellan said the high-elevation heat is problematic because the snowpack is thin, which means it melts more easily, adding to runoff.

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