Heavy rainfall warning issued for Whistler 

Environment Canada says 'significant storm' could cause flooding

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY DAVID BUZZARD / WWW.MEDIA-CENTRE.CA - RAINFALL WARNING Environment Canada is forecasting between 40 and 60mm of rain for Whistler on Saturday, Aug. 29. A nearly submerged sign on the River of Golden Dreams is seen after a heavy rainfall in February.
  • File photo by David Buzzard / www.media-centre.ca
  • RAINFALL WARNING Environment Canada is forecasting between 40 and 60mm of rain for Whistler on Saturday, Aug. 29. A nearly submerged sign on the River of Golden Dreams is seen after a heavy rainfall in February.

Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for Whistler, stating that heavy downpours on Saturday, Aug. 29 could result in flooding.

The federal department said "a significant storm" will affect Whistler and the Sunshine Coast throughout the day and into the night. Forecasts are calling for between 40 and 60 millimetres of rain.

"Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads," the advisory stated. "Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible."

Record rainfall in December flooded several Whistler Cay homes after 70mm fell in a single day.

That month, residents of the Tapley's Farm subdivision presented their concerns to municipal council in the form of a letter and petition calling for a geotechnical study to be done to protect the neighbourhood's homes from flooding. The petition garnered over 100 signatures.

Waterway management is ultimately the responsibility of the provincial government, although the RMOW works with Victoria to maintain them.

Gravel removal is now underway until September at Fitzsimmons Creek for flood protection.

The RMOW recommends taking the following steps when a flood is in the forecast:
-Turn off basement furnaces and the outside gas valve.
-Take special precautions to safeguard electrical, natural gas or propane heating equipment.
-If there is enough time, consult your electricity or fuel supplier for instructions on how to proceed.
-Shut off the electricity only if flooding has not yet begun and the area around the fuse box is completely dry. Stand to the side of the breaker panel and look away from the panel when switching the power off. Have a flashlight with you.

If flooding is imminent, the municipality recommends the following:
-Move furniture, electrical appliances and other belongings to floors above ground level.
-Remove toxic substances, such as pesticides and insecticides from the flood area to prevent pollution.
-Remove toilet bowls and plug basement sewer drains and toilet connections with a wooden stopper.
-Disconnect eavestroughs if they are connected to the house sewer.
-In some cases, homes may be protected with sandbags.
-Do NOT attempt to shut off electricity, if any water is present. Water and live electrical wires can be lethal. Leave your home immediately and do not return until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.

For more information on preparing for a flood, visit www.embc.gov.bc.ca/em/hazard_preparedness/flood_tips/Preparing-family-home.pdf.

Monitor whistler.ca for updates in the event of flooding, or tune to 102.1 Mountain FM.

Speaking of Weather, Environment Canada

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