Storm warning issued for north coast as BC reassesses atmospheric river ranking system

Date: 2021-11-21 02:17:05

British Columbia is looking to readdress the ranking system for atmospheric rivers after this past week’s devastating wide-spread flooding.

This announcement comes after Environment Canada (EC) issued a winter storm warning for Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Kitimat and the surrounding communities, as well as the north coast inland sections, Stewart, the Bulkley Valley and Prince George.

According to EC, heavy rain associated with an atmospheric river is expected to last from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23.

The River Forecast Centre has also issued a flood watch for Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Hartley Bay, Kemano and surrounding areas.

Prince Rupert is expected to receive between 100 and 150 millimetres of rain and inland communities have been received snowfall warnings.

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<p dir=“As the storm moves to the south coast, starting Sunday, rain will reach the heavily impacted areas in the Fraser Valley,” adds Farnworth, who was briefed by EC before today’s emergency management update.

“Given the vulnerabilities and the existing conditions on the ground, Environment Canada is looking at issuing an advisory for this area.”

According to a news release, the storm will reach the south coast in a weakened state but could still bring around 20 to 40 millimetres of rain.

“Normally that would not be an issue in terms of concern. But obviously given the current saturation in the ground, we are following that very closely,” notes Farnworth.

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<p dir=Residents in the communities mentioned above and those living in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley should prepare for stormy weather.

In the emergency management update, Farnworth says a new ranking system for these types of storms would be based on a system that is already being used in the US.

This type of ranking system is meant to better prepare areas for localized flooding and large storm events.

Visit these links to learn how to prepare for severe weather, potential flooding and check DriveBC before travelling.

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