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Heavy rains, balmy temperatures put Metro Vancouver on flood watch

Put away the snow boots and break out the galoshes.

Put away the snow boots and break out the galoshes.

The warm and wet frontal system that hit B.C.’s South Coast Tuesday morning will swell local creeks and rivers and could potentially flood city streets.

The Lower Mainland will receive up to 100 millimetres of rain in 48 hours. The Fraser Valley will see more rain, up to 150 millimetres over the same period. A rainfall warning for both areas was issued yesterday by Environment Canada.

Warming temperatures, combined with the rain, is expected to melt low-elevation snow and add a considerable amount of runoff to streams and rivers.

Lowland rivers in the Fraser Valley, including the Hatzic, Nicomekl and Serpentine, could approach flood levels, according to a high stream-flow advisory issued by B.C.’s River Forecast Centre on Monday.

Larger rivers like the Chilliwack, Stave, Coquitlam and Seymour will peak about mid-morning tomorrow. They are not expected to flood.

In Vancouver, about 800 city workers have spent the last two days clearing snow from the city’s 40,000 storm drains.

Surrey warned of possible road closures today in low-lying areas.

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