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Heavy rains cause ‘significant’ flooding at Vancouver airport’s south terminal

Parked cars sit in pooled water at Vancouver International Airport's south terminal on Dec. 14, 2019.
Parked cars sit in pooled water at Vancouver International Airport's south terminal on Dec. 14, 2019. Global News

Some travellers heading to and from Vancouver International Airport Saturday morning found themselves getting wet due to flooding around the airport’s south terminal.

A spokesperson for YVR initially said the flooding was caused by heavy rains, but later said the airport was working on determining the cause.

The airport said there were “no major impacts to flights” to and from the terminal, which is used by smaller airlines like Island Express Air and Central Mountain Air, along with floatplanes.

While some passengers suggested the airport’s dike may have given way, YVR confirmed that was not the case.

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Kevin Boothroyd, spokesperson for Pacific Coastal Airlines, said he arrived at the south terminal Saturday morning to find “significant” pooling on the tarmac and around the parking lot and roadways.

“Significant amounts of water rising rapidly, in places it was well over a foot,” he said. “It was impacting our ability to take off and land, because there was nowhere to put planes.”

READ MORE: Several areas of Metro Vancouver see flooding after heavy rains pummel coastal B.C.

Boothroyd said one of the airline’s employees tried to start their car in the parking lot, but the battery wouldn’t start. He guessed other vehicles also sustained damage.

The airport said it is working to identify any passengers whose vehicles may have been damaged by water in the parking lot.

While Boothroyd said Pacific Coastal was able to maintain regular operations and stay on schedule, passengers had to be shuttled around the main road between the main and south terminals, after RCMP blocked the road due to the flooding.

Click to play video 'Heavy rains cause flooding around Metro Vancouver' Heavy rains cause flooding around Metro Vancouver
Heavy rains cause flooding around Metro Vancouver

Planes were also forced to land “in places where they normally don’t,” he said, in order to avoid the pools of water.

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YVR said passengers can still park at the south terminal and access it via Cowley Crescent.

With more rain in the forecast for Metro Vancouver Saturday evening and throughout next week, Boothroyd is hoping he doesn’t see flooding again anytime soon.

READ MORE: Water main break floods homes in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley

“This is the first time I’ve ever seen this,” he said. “It’s a little bit of a shock to come here and see the water rising that fast.

“I think it’s a pretty rare occurrence, but we’ll see what happens tonight.”

Passengers are advised to check the status of their flights on the YVR website.