Christmas wet, not white for parts of B.C.
VANCOUVER—Forget a white Christmas on B.C.'s south coast — try a very wet, warm one.
Environment Canada has issued wind and rainfall warnings covering all of Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and much of the province's central coast. As much as 110 millimetres of rain could fall in some areas, accompanied by winds of up to 90 kilometres per hour.
The B.C. River Forecast Centre has issued a High Streamflow Advisory for south and central Vancouver Island and Howe Sound, warning that river levels are expected to rise quickly. It says high tides could also increase the flood threat.
Some localized flooding has already occurred in the Vancouver Island city of Courtenay because of high water levels in the Courtenay, Tsolum and Puntledge Rivers, but no evacuations have been ordered.
The city has issued a flood alert, warning people about the potential for flooding for the next several days because of a combination of heavy rain, rising freezing levels, melting snow and high tides.
Sandbags are being stockpiled and the city says evacuations may be necessary if the water rises too much.
Heavy rains and high tides resulted in flooding twice within a couple of weeks last January in Courtenay and some people were forced to leave their homes. The city was also hit by flooding in November of 2009.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island has issued a warning asking visitors to stay away from beaches and shorelines.
The advisory says the park is expecting high tides, heavy rains and seven-metre swells, which could lead to flooded parking lots, floating logs, strong ocean surges and blown-down trees.