Wet, windy weather causes flooding, disrupts ferry service
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2018 1:19PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:47PM PST
Strong winds and heavy rainfall washed out busy streets and flooded a Metro Vancouver SkyTrain station Tuesday.
TransLink said in tweet at 2 p.m. that service on the Expo Line between Columbia and Sapperton stations in New Westminster had been suspended due to flooding. The rain also caused service disruptions between Columbia and Scott Road Station in Surrey.
A bus bridge was set up to replace Expo Line trains between New Westminster and Sapperton stations and New Westminster and Scott Road stations.
Regular service resumed shortly after 4 p.m.
The disruption comes amid a pair of weather alerts from Environment Canada warning residents on the South Coast to expect winds of up to 80 km/h and as much as 60 millimetres of rain.
The wet weather also caused flooding in other low-lying parts of the region.
Video captured at Fraser Street and East Kent Avenue North in South Vancouver showed cars driving through washed-out sections of road.
Other Vancouverites took to social media to documents the effects of the rainfall, including in the city's Southlands area.
A similar scene unfolded in the area of Clark Drive and Charles Street in East Vancouver.
CTV News learned that some buildings in that part of the city were damaged by the flooding and shop owners had to get creative to protect their businesses, using whatever items they could to keep the rushing water out.
"Every major rainstorm, the water just runs down from the Commercial (Street) hill and piles up here. The sewer system just doesn't hold up," William, the owner of La Fabrica on Clark, told CTV as he stood next to a makeshift barrier of detergent bottles and a tarp he had built in the business's entrance.
"It keeps the water out just enough," he added.
Video from the Still Creek area of Burnaby showed some cars stuck in the rising water.
"It's just terrible," said the driver of a Mercedes sedan that was almost fully submerged when CTV cameras arrived at the scene. "We bought it three days ago. We're just really frustrated about it. It is what it is."
Water levels began rising even on Highway 1 at 160 Street in Surrey, as well as on King George Boulevard and 128 Street.
By Tuesday evening, water rainfall totals in Pitt Meadows had amounted to 59 millimetres, while Vancouver Harbour saw just shy of 50.
The hardest hit areas also included Burnaby, which experienced at total of 44 millimetres of rain and West Vancouver, which saw 41 millimetres.
In addition to the localized flooding, BC Ferries was forced to cancel a morning sailing from Tsawwassen to Victoria.
"The safety of our passengers and crew is of primary importance to us," the company said in a message to travellers. "We don’t take the decision to cancel sailings lightly, as we know customers rely on us to get to their destinations. We will resume service as soon as it is safe to do so."
The 1 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay back to the mainland has also been cancelled due to the inclement weather.
According to the agency, the Pacific frontal system moving through the region has already eased in the eastern part of Vancouver Island and is expected to the same in Metro Vancouver starting Tuesday evening.
In the meantime, residents are being asked to be careful of loose objects that may be tossed by the wind and adjust their driving according to the weather conditions.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Angela Jung and Ann Luu
To receive Environment Canada weather warnings and alerts straight to your phone, download CTV Vancouver's free Weather Watch app. Check out this page for more info including how to download.
We’re making progress. This is what it looks like now. We thank our customers for their patience. ^at pic.twitter.com/ivqWhmPLfO— TransLink BC (@TransLink) December 12, 2018