B.C. snow melt prompts mass flood warnings
Rainfall forecasted for B.C.'s south coast for the next few days has residents breathing a sign of relief -- and retiring their snow shovels after nearly two weeks of snowfall.
But British Columbians aren't clear of weather woes just yet. The record amounts of melting snow are prompting massive flood warnings across the region.
The River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow advisory for the entire region from Vancouver Island and Howe Sound, to the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
Rainfall topping 150 millimetres -- that's nearly six inches -- could drench Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley before Thursday morning, with about 100 millimetres expected over Greater Vancouver.
Slightly less rain is due over southern and eastern Vancouver Island but experts say it -- and the melting snow -- will cause a rapid rise in area river levels and possible flooding in low-lying areas.
With heavy rainfall predicted, the city of Vancouver is asking everyone to do their part to prevent flooding in their neighbourhood.
Residents are being asked to clean catch basins in front of their homes and properties, and ensure all gutters are free of snow and debris.
More than 800 city staff members worked yesterday to remove snow and clear catch basins in anticipation of the heavy rainfall.
More snow fallout
But as south coast residents build their arks in anticipation of heavy rain, people living in the central and southern Interior, southeastern B.C. and inland sections of the north coast are already shovelling more snow.
Up to 30 centimetres of snow -- just shy of 12 inches -- is expected to blanket the region by Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, lingering snow across Metro Vancouver means elementary schools in Maple Ridge remain closed today - although secondary students must report to class.
Vancouver students who depend on school buses equipped with wheel chair ramps will also spend another day at home because the bus company says snow piles make it unsafe to operate the ramps.
With files from The Canadian Press