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Flood worries as rain pounds B.C.’s South Coast

Click to play video 'High risk of avalanche for B.C. mountains' High risk of avalanche for B.C. mountains
High risk of avalanche for BC mountains – Jan 2, 2021

The arrival of wet, stormy weather on the South Coast led to flood concerns, ferry cancellations and ski-hill closures on Saturday.

An Environment Canada rainfall warning remained in place for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Howe Sound and the Sea to Sky region.

The agency forecast up to 60 mm of precipitation in the Fraser Valley, and up to 50 mm in northern areas of Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound.

The entire south coast was also under a high-streamflow advisory.

On Vancouver Island, the B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a flood watch for the area between Nanaimo and Fanny Bay, including the Englishman and Nanaimo rivers and their tributaries.

More than 90 mm of rain had fallen in the area in the past 24 hours, it said, and river levels were rising rapidly.

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The Cowichan Tribes First Nation issued an evacuation order due to potential flooding for the Wil’seem and Sahilton roads. An evacuation alert was also issued for residents of several other areas in the First Nation’s territory.

Flooding was also reported in the Parksville area, where transportation officials closed Martindale Road due to rising waters.

Two properties in the area were put on evacuation alert by the Regional District of Nanaimo.

At one point Saturday, BC Hydro said about 6,500 customers in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast were without power.

Read more: Winter storm warnings issued for Trans-Canada Highway, Highway 3 in southeast B.C.

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BC Ferries scrapped an 11 a.m. sailing from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, and a 1 p.m. return sailing on the same route due to high winds.

Sailings between Powell River and Texada Island, and between Cortez and Quadra Islands were also cancelled.

You can see current conditions and BC Ferries travel advisories here.

Click to play video 'B.C. evening weather forecast: Jan. 1' B.C. evening weather forecast: Jan. 1
B.C. evening weather forecast: Jan. 1 – Jan 1, 2021

Mount Seymour also cited poor weather in its decision to close to the public on Saturday. The ski hill said it would contact people who had pre-booked for the day to reschedule their activities.

READ MORE: Snow, rain and strong winds: A stormy start to 2021 for B.C.

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Grouse Mountain also said it had closed its mountain-top activities, including the downhill ski area and its chalet facilities.

Whistler remained open on Saturday, but was warning skiers and snowboarders to use caution on the mountain and to monitor weather conditions.

Winter storm warnings also remained in effect Saturday for the Trans Canada Highway and Highway 3 through the interior.

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