NEWS

B.C. storms trigger more evacuation orders, road closures

12/11/2014 10:47 EST | Updated 02/10/2015 05:59 EST
West Coast residents are getting a break on Thursday morning from a series of subtropical storms that have been soaking the region this week — but only for a few hours.

Environment Canada forecasts one more storm will hit the coast later in the day, once again bringing heavy rain and high winds before cooler drier weather arrives for the weekend.

Several days of rain have already triggered evacuations and flood watches across Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver.

Flooding has forced the City of Courtenay to place more than 100 businesses and 100 homes on evacuation alert or order. The municipality declared a state of emergency on Tuesday but the rains continued, with BC Hydro reporting 250 millimetres in 48 hours at the Upper Comox Lake watershed.

Nearby in Little Qualicum Beach, a dozen homes are under an evacuation order after a mudslide partially buried a house on Wednesday.  Firefighters say a bank collapsed, covering a two-storey home in mud while a man was trapped in the basement.

The man was rescued and taken to hospital yesterday, and an engineer has been sent in to assess the area. An emergency reception centre has been set up for nearby residents as officials say there is risk of another collapse.

Evacuation orders and road closures

The Nanaimo Regional District has also declared a local state of emergency for Parry's RV Park on the Englishman River. Residents of the Nanaimo River and French Creek areas are also warned to be prepared for flooding as water levels rise.

And near Port Alberni, 22 homes on the the Tesehaht Reserve have been evacuated and Highway 4 to Tofino was closed because of flooding, after more than 190 millimetres of rain fell on the area since Monday.

Highway 19A was also closed just south of Comox because of flooding.

The heavy rain has also caused closures on Highway 99 near Pemberton, because of flooding and a mudslides, along with Highway 3 near Keromeos.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has also upgraded flood warnings and watches for parts of Vancouver Island and the Central Coast.

A state of emergency declared earlier in the week in Delta has been lifted.

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