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Sudden downpours cause flash floods in parts of Metro Vancouver

Last Updated Oct 29, 2018 at 9:22 am PDT

The intersection of Cambie and Broadway was flooding after heavy rains poured over Metro Vancouver on Sunday night. (Lauren Boothby, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Sudden downpours, which hit Vancouver and Richmond hard, caused flash floods in many areas

The Coquihalla was hit with a big snow storm Sunday afternoon, catching maintenance crews offguard, the ministry says

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Some streets and neighbourhoods around Metro Vancouver were turned into rivers on Sunday night, after heavy rains caused flash floods in a number of areas.

The major issue was that the rain overwhelmed drains and catch basins, which also got clogged with leaves.

“It was right up over the sidewalk, like the parking metre was submerged and water was coming right up to the doors of the front of the CityNews studios,” Jon Kennedy, a producer with CityNews said.

NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Russ Lacate says the intensity of the sudden downpours were to blame. Cloud bursts led to much of the rain falling in a span or an hour or two.

It appears Vancouver and Richmond were hardest hit, with the downtown area seeing rainfall totals of close to 25 millimetres, and 16.6 millimetres of rain falling in the latter.

The City of Vancouver says 25 crews were out responding to calls as well as patrolling the streets for floods through the night. Two street sweepers and a vacuum truck were also out to clear roads.

“During the storm, three streets were temporarily closed until crews could arrive to address flooding,” a Facebook post reads. 

According to the city, 128 calls related to flooding came in as of 4:00 a.m. Crews are still working to respond to all of them.

People are being reminded to clear their catch basins of leaves to help avoid blockages.

Flash floods were reported around Vancouver, including at the intersection of West 2nd and Columbia (Chad Harris, CityNews Vancouver)

Coquihalla chaos

Meantime, B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation says highway maintenance crews were caught off guard by a storm, that blanketed the Coquihalla with snow on Sunday.

Highway 5 was closed in both directions between Hope and Merritt for two and a half hours because of a vehicle incident.

Crews are said to have been prepared for the forecast, which called for light snow. However, the ministry says the storm cell came through, causing compact snow and slippery conditions.

Onsite lights warning commercial vehicles to add chains while driving on the Coquihalla were also not activated until mid morning, the ministry explained, adding to the chaos.

Might want to waterproof your Halloween costume

While it might be a little too early to say for sure what the forecast will be Wednesday night, Meteorologist Russ Lacate suggests preparing for wet conditions.

“It’s still too soon to be fine-tuning a street by street Halloween night forecast, but there is more rain coming today,” he says. “There’s more of it tomorrow, and again on Wednesday. We’ll have to have more than just a little good luck to see things dry out in time for the trick or treaters.”

-With files from The Canadian Press