Weekend storm expected to bring overnight winds and more rain

Technically, it’s still summer, but Friday felt like winter. The rain fell hard on Southern Vancouver Island, where total precipitation was expected to be in the 35-millimetre range through the evening.

Langford resident Imran Daj couldn’t be happier about it.

“I’m more than happy to see the rains come,” said Daj.

After an extremely dry two months, those rains caused chaos on the roads during the morning commute on the West Shore.

“We had multiple collisions that we had to attend to,” said Const. Alex Berube of West Shore RCMP.

The first was a BC Transit bus that rolled over while swerving to avoid another vehicle on the Trans Canada Highway near Thetis Lake.

“Fortunately, there were no passengers inside the bus,” said Berube. “The driver of the bus was transported to hospital by ambulance to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.”

Next were two separate accidents that happened in and around the intersection of Whale Road and Goldstream Avenue in Colwood.

Following those, a female pedestrian was hit in the intersection of Langford Parkway and Phipps Road in Langford. She was not seriously hurt.

“Motorists are urged to slow down in wet conditions (and) turn on their lights to be more visible,” said Berube.

This weekend’s storm is expected to hit the east side of Vancouver Island, north of Nanaimo, the hardest.

In Courtenay, water pooled and driving conditions were challenging. People there can expect 50 to 80 millimeters of rain by the end of Friday.

“No doubt, we’re going to see some outages up and down the island,” said Ted Olynyk, community relations manager with BC Hydro.

As of Friday afternoon, BC Hydro saw roughly 5,000 customers without power and was expecting to see more outages over night. Winds are expected to pick up to gusts of 70-to-80 kilometers per hour throughout the evening.

“I’m sure with what trees have experienced this summer – you know, the extreme heat, the long prolonged drought – it’s weakened them,” said Olynyk. “So we’re going to see branches come down. We’re going to see trees come down.”

“Really, right now, we’re just welcoming this rain because our numbers are so low, we’re so far behind,” said Warren Dean, CTV Vancouver Island weather specialist.

From June until Friday, the weather monitoring station at the Victoria International Airport has seen only 48.6 millimeters of rain. The last time the station recorded more than 10 millimetres of rain in a single day was in February.

“It’s one of those situations where it’s nice to get, it’s happening in a very short amount of time and it’s pretty intense,” said Dean. “We just have to keep looking out for a lot of factors that could be dangerous.”

The rains and winds are expected to taper off as we get through the weekend and by late next week, we should be back to summer-like conditions once again.