Rain tapers off after Friday downpour 

Avalanche hazard high, skiers reminded to obey signage and closures

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BRADEN DUPUIS. - SELF-SERVE A self-serve sandbagging station will be available at the Public Works Yard until the risk of flooding subsides.
  • Photo by Braden Dupuis.
  • SELF-SERVE A self-serve sandbagging station will be available at the Public Works Yard until the risk of flooding subsides.

While the northern coast of B.C. deals with unprecedented snow - including 160 centimetres that has buried the district of Kitimat and Terrace - Whistler has been blessed only with rain.

Just under 40 millimeters fell on Friday, according to Environment Canada, leaving parts of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) dealing with excess water.

"The roads crew has cleared out a few ditches that got plugged with melting snow last night and today, and fixed some road shoulders that were eroded by the rain," said RMOW communications manager Michele Comeau in an email.

"The levels in Crabapple Creek and River of Golden Dreams are lower now than they were yesterday. The crew will continue to monitor all the critical spots until the rain subsides."

Saturday's forecast calls for 5 to 10 mm throughout the day, and 10 to 20 mm overnight.

According to Whistler Blackcomb (WB), 9 cm of snow fell at the Pig Alley Weather Station on Friday night with about 30 mm of rain, which fell as snow at higher elevations.

"Conditions below that are very spring-like with soft, slushy snow on the groomed runs," a WB spokesperson said.

"The avalanche hazard is pretty high in the alpine right now, and our patrol and operations teams are working really hard to try and get that terrain open, so we really want to remind guests to obey all signage and closures while patrol is working on avalanche control."

A self-serve sandbagging station was set up at the Public Works Yard on Friday, but nobody had made use of it as of Saturday at noon, a public works employee said.

The sandbagging station is open 24 hours a day and will be available until the risk of flooding subsides.

Bags, sand and shovels are all provided free of charge.

Check www.whistler.ca for updates.

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