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The Wet Coast

The Wet Coast lived up to its name and then some yesterday, as theincessant downpour — along with strong winds — wreaked havoc around theregion, causing flooding, power outages and school closures.

The Wet Coast lived up to its name and then some yesterday, as the incessant downpour — along with strong winds — wreaked havoc around the region, causing flooding, power outages and school closures.

The mayor of Courtney on Vancouver Island, which saw 56.4 millimetres of rain in 24 hours, even declared a state of emergency because local rivers overflowed.

Flooding across the Coast was exacerbated by snowmelt and drains clogged with fallen leaves.

Around 32,000 B.C. Hydro customers across the province were without electricity at some point yesterday, including 25,000 in Metro Vancouver, because of winds reaching as much as 80 km/h in some places.

Two schools in Langley closed for the day because they were without power, which was also knocked out at the Massey Tunnel early in the morning.

The warmer, wetter weather also forced Cypress and Grouse mountains to shut down their ski hills — only days after opening early — because the snowfall turned into rain.

David Wray, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Squamish received the most rain, with 104.2 mm falling in the 24-hour period between noon on Sunday and noon yesterday.

North Vancouver saw 63 mm of rain in the same time period, and Vancouver got 23.4 mm.
“(Today) we are expecting the bulk of the system to have moved through,” Wray said.

“(This was) just your typical West Coast fall,” he added. “(It was) more robust than other systems, but certainly not out of the normal. We do tend to have two or three events like this a year.”

Around five to 10 mm of rain is forecast to fall on Vancouver today before the rains pick up again tomorrow evening, which should soak the city with another 20 to 25 mm.