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