Roughly 20 homes flooded in Port Coquitlam after deluge
PORT COQUITLAM -- A section of Coast Meridian Road turned into a river Friday night, and all that water eventually seeped into roughly 20 homes in that area.
Officials with the City of Port Coquitlam said five areas in the city saw localized flooding, but the worst of it was in the Coast Meridian neighbourhood and the Bedford-Kingsway area.
"Particularly in that Coast Meridian area, we don’t traditionally see that kind of flooding and debris coming down and causing that backing up of the culvert, so it was a bit unusual for us," said Kristen Dixon, the chief administrative officer with the city.
Dixon said between 15 and 20 homes had their power shut off as a precaution because too much water was getting inside them.
She believes the number of properties affected may be higher, because small floods in yards wouldn't have been reported to the city.
During the height of the storm, crews closed sections of Coast Meridian as they worked to mitigate the flooding and prepare for the clean-up.
Dave Danchuk and his son were clearing catch basins to help the water get down the drains.
"We've got to help the neighbours," said Danchuk. "All these properties are super low, so whatever is coming off from here is just going to go right into their front yards."
Another resident also wanted to lend a hand by placing a log on the road in an attempt to divert the flow of the water.
Shyan Baker said her husband came up with the idea after noticing there were no sandbags available.
"He wanted the water to detour or at least slow down, so it's not flooding all the houses," she explained.
She questioned whether the city was ready for the intense storm.
"[The city is] doing their best, but I do think sandbags would've helped from flooding some houses and yeah, I don't think they were prepared," Baker said.
Dixon admits the city can learn from this experience and make sandbags available earlier.
"We'll be taking a step back now and assessing the rainfall, looking at that intensity and assessing our infrastructure to see if there's anything we can do in advance, if there's anything we can do better to handle the next one, but we are always open to learning and improving," she said.
Environment Canada said some areas of B.C. saw between 100 and 137 millimetres of rain over the storm's three-day course.
After the rain came the winds
Soon after the rain tapered off, the Lower Mainland saw some wicked winds that knocked down power lines.
BC Hydro spokesperson Tanya Fish said when the storm was the strongest, an estimated 22,000 customers were in the dark at the same time.
"As a result of the heavy rain that we saw over the last few days, it does weaken the trees and make them more susceptible to heavy winds, which we saw overnight," she said.
She said the hardest hit areas were the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island.
"We have a number of crews working in the area today to get power back on as quickly as they can," she said.
Officials are reminding people to pack three-days' worth of supplies in an emergency preparedness kit.