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UPDATED: Flood watch for all of Vancouver Island as heavy rain set to return tonight

B.C. River Forecast Centre warns of rising flood potential throughout the region
Flooding on Martindale Road in Parksville. There is a flood watch in effect for most of Vancouver Island, with the B.C. River Forecast Centre warning of “potential for flood flows” on the Englishman River and elsewhere. (Black Press file photo)

The flood watch issued for most of Vancouver Island Saturday remains in effect Monday morning and now affects the entire Island.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre upgraded its high streamflow advisories to flood watches in the south, east, central and west regions of Vancouver Island Saturday and added the Island’s north region Monday morning.

“The third in a series of atmospheric rivers is expected to impact Coastal British Columbia beginning Monday evening. This is forecast to bring a prolonged period of heavy rainfall across the region through Wednesday,” the warning indicates. “Environment and Climate Change Canada are warning of 100-200 mm of rain for exposed areas on Vancouver Island and the Central Coast.

“Rivers are expected to experience a brief period of easing river levels on Monday prior to the onset of this next round of rainfall. River levels are expected to see rapid rises on Tuesday and through Wednesday. Current weather forecasts and river forecasts are indicating that significant flood risks will be present over the Tuesday and Wednesday period from this atmospheric river, particularly in the Central Coast and Northern Vancouver Island

Previously, a Environment Canada rainfall warning Saturday for the east coast of the Island from Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay indicated 50-70 millimetres of precipitation were expected, while the west coast of the Island, was warned of rainfall in excess of 100mm or even 130mm around Port Renfrew.

“Rivers are expected to see rises through Saturday and overnight into Sunday,” noted that flood watch, adding that weather forecasts and hydrologic modelling and assessments suggest the potential for flooding in areas south half of Campbell River with most focused rainfall around Port Renfrew through to Cowichan Lake and the Sooke River watershed.

The flood watch advises of potential flood flows around the Koksilah River, Chemainus River, Cowichan River, Englishman River and surrounding areas.

“The public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period,” the river forecast centre notes.

The Regional District of Nanaimo issued a press release about the flood watch, and said “residents in low-lying areas should take precautions including implementing their personal preparedness plans early and moving to higher ground.”

READ ALSO: 3rd atmospheric river could be worst since 1st B.C storm 2 weeks ago: Farnworth

READ ALSO: High streamflow advisory issued for Vancouver Island rivers

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