A local state of emergency has been declared in parts of British Columbia due to unrelenting rainfall causing flooding, mudslides and the closure of major highways across the interior of the province.
— Jaclyn Whittal (@jwhittalTWN) November 15, 2021
Heavy rainfall warnings are currently in effect, with 100 mm forecast for Metro Vancouver through Monday and over 200 mm for lower mainland and Vancouver Island.
Official storm totals update as of noon:
272.3 mm in #Hope
220.0 mm in Agassiz
207.8 mm in Coquitlam
206.4 mm in Cultus Lake
180.6 mm in Pitt Meadows
159.6 mm in West Vancouver
132.8 mm in #Vancouver Harbor
Full summary later this afternoon. #BCstorm #AtmosphericRiver pic.twitter.com/KXqEUGAR7v
— Thierry Goose (@ThierryGooseBC) November 15, 2021
"This is obviously an extreme event," Brent Ward, a professor in the earth sciences department at Simon Fraser University, told CBC News.
"I've been discussing with grad students ... and we think this might be the worst series of landslides and flooding events since maybe 1983."
Social media users have been documenting the intense rain and mudslides in various locations.
— Anthony Gwillim (@anthonygwillim) November 15, 2021
My kids hockey team is trying to get home from Calgary.
The flooding in Princeton, BC.
Credit: Michael McRea - fellow hockey dad #StormBC #BCFlood #BCStorm #PrincetonBC #flooding pic.twitter.com/psoGwXazSO
— Matthew Campbell (@YellowJerseyAdv) November 15, 2021
Environment Canada reported that over 225 mm of rain has battered the community of Hope, B.C. over the last two days, which was also the location of severe wildfires during the heatwave this summer.
— Րυɱ૦Ր Һคς ɿ੮ 🏴 (@BrandiLynn4Ever) November 15, 2021
— 401_da_sarpanch (@401_da_sarpanch) November 15, 2021
Over 180 mm rain was also reported near Agassiz, B.C. and Chilliwack, B.C. since the storm began this Saturday. The landslides prompted evacuation orders in Merritt, Agassiz, Abbotsford and Princeton, forcing residents from over 200 homes to leave their properties.
About 7,000 people from the city of Merritt were ordered to leave as the Coldwater River started overtaking roads and bridges, the Canadian Press has reported.
Merritt BC currently on full evacuation. pic.twitter.com/CA6kcVSQwj
— Sunny Heer (@TheHeer0s) November 15, 2021
— Cam Mitchell (@CamMitchell4) November 15, 2021
Environment Canada said the rain wasn't expected to let up until late Monday.
"The snow level is expected to briefly rise to near Rogers Pass this afternoon, and snow may change to rain," the weather office said. "However, rain will change back to snow this evening and additional accumulations are possible before the snow eases to scattered flurries late tonight."
— Lucas Kohli (@BCWanderer1) November 15, 2021
Flooding on Lower Road and Stephens Creek at Roberts Creek after atmospheric river dumps heavy rain on Sunshine Coast BC Canada 🇨🇦 #bcstorm #robertscreek #sunshinecoastbc #Photo via Mar-lynn Church courtesy Roberts Creek Speaks! Stay Safe ❤ https://t.co/BTyAbkdzeL pic.twitter.com/IPLk6WOblD
— Duane Burnett (@DuaneBurnett) November 15, 2021
Officials are asking drivers to avoid any unnecessary travel in B.C.
A large chunk of the Coquihalla Highway appears to have collapsed due to the rain.
Highway 5 southbound, just south of the Othello road exit. pic.twitter.com/DZl7VqG8D4
— Tyler Brown (@tbrownconnected) November 15, 2021
DriveBC says the Coquihalla will be closed between Exit 202 and Exit 21 and have asked drivers to take Highway 3 as an alternate route.
Torrential rain and flooding is causing damage and landslides throughout BC. Our thoughts are with those affected by the slides and the rescue crews that have been sent to help. Check road closures with @DriveBC and stay safe everyone.#drivebc #bcstorm #staysafe pic.twitter.com/eq1YmFd5De
— FYIguys (@FYIcomm) November 15, 2021
A look at the mudslide impacts on #BCHwy5 at Mine Creek Road.
Crews are on site and assessing. Please check @DriveBC for the latest information. https://t.co/nudJbIIAgX#BCstorm #Coquihalla #Merritt pic.twitter.com/7ajcUMGPGM
— BC Transportation (@TranBC) November 15, 2021
Forecasters have also warned of powerful winds over Victoria, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Canyon — with gusts up to 90 km/h — which could possibly add to power outages across the province.
High winds will potentially cause power outages this afternoon. Due to the saturated ground trees and hydro polls may blow over. Gusts of 50-80km/h are forecast for the lower mainland and western Fraser valley except, 80-100km/h for Chilliwack, Hope, and Juan de Fuca. Stay safe!! pic.twitter.com/3KoSjMNGUD
— BCWeather101(Andrew) (@BCWeather101) November 15, 2021
— Wildergarden (@WildergardenBC) November 15, 2021
#Sooke and beyond as well as #EastSooke are now cut off in both directions by flooding - @CHEK_News @50ShadesofVan #BCStorm and #winds have picked up slamming us here on Sooke Basin w 37km gusts pic.twitter.com/SK6Ydeaf9x
— Wildergarden (@WildergardenBC) November 15, 2021
B.C. residents are capturing visuals of the rain flooding their homes and patios.
— Carly 💅🏼 (she/her) (@carlymbutton) November 15, 2021
— Franklin Sayre (@fdsayre) November 15, 2021
Social media users are pointing out how British Columbians have suffered extreme heat, wildfires and intense rainfall all through the space of one year.
Extreme heat; extreme smoke; extreme flooding/mudslides. The BC interior feels like the epicentre of climate change in Canada, yet all levels of government just tinker at the margins of policy change and continue, more or less, to subsidize the fossil fuel economy.
— Wilson Bell (@bellhistory) November 15, 2021
Since the end of June, BC has seen record heat, a town destroyed by fire, 600 people dead from the heat dome, a tornado at UBC and now widespread flooding as some people are trapped: https://t.co/lnLRCB9dED
Climate change preparations HAVE to be at the top of the #bcpoli agenda https://t.co/dBYQ77ZGAL
— Penny Daflos (@PennyDaflos) November 15, 2021