Rain, wind pummels B.C. coast as atmospheric river makes landfall

Coast pounded with rain

Parts of southwestern British Columbia remain under a rainfall warning as a potent atmospheric river made landfall along the province's coast Monday, bringing ample rain and high winds while disrupting roads and utilities.

Environment Canada says the weather system brought as much as 132 millimetres of rain in the last 24 hours, reported at the Kennedy Lake on Vancouver Island.

The highest precipitation recorded in the Lower Mainland and southwestern B.C. was in Port Mellon on the Sunshine Coast with 102 millimetres, followed by Mission, Porteau Cove and Pitt Meadows with 97, 91 and 90 millimetres of rain respectively.

Meanwhile, strong winds also pummeled the B.C. coast Monday, with gusts reaching 150 kilometres an hour at Sartine Island near the northern tip of Vancouver Island and 115 kilometres an hour at Sandspit in Haida Gwaii.

Pooling water wreaked havoc on several major roadways in southwestern B.C., with Highway 99 in Richmond, Highway 7B in Port Coquitlam and Highway 1 in Surrey all seeing disruptions from minor flooding last night or this morning.

A stretch of Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon south of Lytton is scheduled to reopen today after the provincial Ministry of Transportation's geotechnical experts recommended a precautionary closure due to the risk of instability triggered by heavy rain.

BC Hydro data shows a small number of residents in Greater Victoria, Coquitlam and Texada Island lost power due to downed trees across power lines, with a number of other outages in southwestern B.C. with causes still under investigation.

Rainfall warnings remain in place in the Fraser Valley and the Fraser Canyon, with the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt continuing to face heavy rain into this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada is warning motorists on the Okanagan Connector from Merritt to Kelowna to watch for freezing rain as precipitation move into areas of higher elevation.

B.C.'s River Forecast Centre says Metro Vancouver, South Coast and Lower Fraser regions remain under a flood watch with river levels rising and possibly overflowing their banks.

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