Wettest fall on record in parts of B.C. adds to risk of disaster as more storms approach

BC Flooding

An "extraordinary" amount of rain has fallen on British Columbia this fall, saturating the ground and making disasters like the one that struck the province earlier this month more likely, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Speaking to reporters in a technical briefing Friday, warning preparedness meteorologist Armel Castellan said some weather stations - including those in Victoria, Vancouver and Abbotsford - have recorded their wettest-ever fall seasons.

This summer's drought and wildfires - as well as changes on the ground caused by previous wildfire seasons - have exacerbated conditions, he added.

"The landscape is completely saturated," Castellan said. "Any extra moisture runs down much more easily and much quicker."

That extra moisture could come from melting snow as two more atmospheric rivers bring warm tropical air to the province over the coming days.

The addition of snowmelt to potentially heavy rain this weekend and midweek next week has prompted the B.C. River Forecast Centre to issue flood watches and high streamflow advisories across the province's coast.

"The worst-case scenario is still not super likely - for Tuesday and Wednesday being as bad as what we saw middle of the month - but it does exist," Castellan said. "We hope that everybody is prepared, feeling ready, doing as much as they can in anticipation of this extraordinary set of storms that is affecting the coast."

- with files from CTV -