Residents urged to prepare for 3rd storm, avoid non-essential travel

bc flooding

 British Columbians are being urged to prepare and avoid non-essential travel over the next day as the province braces for the next atmospheric river.

B.C.'s public safety and transportation ministers gave the update during a briefing Tuesday on the ongoing flood situation in the province.

B.C. is bracing for its third atmospheric river in less than a week to arrive on Tuesday, delivering more heavy rain to communities that remain flooded from previous storms.

"There is uncertainty about this next storm as the forecast models do vary," Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said. "For now, what people should do is to get prepared. Being prepared makes a huge difference."

Farnworth urged residents to stay home if they can.

"The best approach is to avoid non-essential travel and wait out the weather," he said, adding that the province "is not in the clear yet."

In anticipation of worsening conditions, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming announced Highway 99 between Pemberton an Lillooet would close Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Highway 1 remains closed between Abbotsford and Chilliwack and between Popkum and Hope, meaning Highway 3 and Highway 7 will be the only major routes connecting the Lower Mainland and Interior after Highway 99 shuts down.

Even some routes that are open are subject to travel orders. 


Environment and Climate Change Canada's rainfall warning for the South Coast says as much as 120 millimetres of rain could fall near the North Shore. Other parts of Metro Vancouver could see up to 80 millimetres. Meanwhile, parts of Vancouver Island are forecast to see 100 to 150 millimetres.

ECCC's warning preparedness meteorologist Armel Castellan said this next atmospheric river will be a "very strong" event, and will continue through Wednesday.

Castellan said there hasn't been much of a break between the recent atmospheric rivers, meaning "the effects are cumulative."

David Campbell of the River Forecast Centre said Tuesday officials are watching conditions closely, adding there's a chance of "new flooding issues throughout the South Coast region." Campbell said the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Howe Sound and Central Coast could be impacted.

The latest update came the day after Farnworth extended the province's state of emergency due to the ongoing flooding situation. He also extended the gas rationing order until Dec. 14.


with files from CTV News Vancouver