An intense storm over B.C.'s South Coast has triggered wind and rainfall warnings in the region.

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 8 cm of rain will hit much of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley by Tuesday morning, and areas near the Coast Mountains could see as much as 12 cm.

That could cause localized flooding in low-lying areas, according to the weather agency, as well as washouts, particularly near rivers, creeks and culverts. Meteorologist Matt MacDonald urged drivers to be extra cautious until the weather clears.

"Just take it easy out there," MacDonald said. "There's a chance of hydroplaning and some local flooding in the roadways."

Extended periods of strong winds are also in the forecast. Environment Canada warns the winds, which are expected to reach up to 80 km/h near the Strait of Georgia and in the western Fraser Valley, could "toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break."

There were some fears the intense weather system, which coincided with high tides, would produce a storm surge in some shorefront areas. Tiger dams were even put up over the weekend along the waterfront in West Vancouver to protect buildings and other infrastructure.

Fortunately, the waves didn't quite reach the seawall Monday morning.

Flooding remains the primary concern, according to officials. Apart from rain, rising temperatures are melting some of the snow on the North Shore Mountains, triggering a separate flood warning from B.C.'s River Forecast Centre.

"Shallow snow accumulations at mid-elevations over the past few days is expected to melt with warmer temperatures, and will contribute additional runoff to streams," the warning reads. "Hydrologic modelling is indicating the potential for flood conditions to develop, particularly in areas with the highest forecasted rainfall amounts."

Peak river flows are expected late Monday and into Tuesday.

Further inland, Environment Canada has warned there is potential for freezing rain along portions of the Coquihalla Highway. Drivers are advised to watch for hazardous road conditions, which can come about suddenly in mountain areas.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Sheila Scott  


With files from CTV Vancouver's Sheila Scott