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Storm batters B.C.'s coast


Some ferries have been delayed or cancelled because of the stormy weather
Some ferries have been delayed or cancelled because of the stormy weather

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

December 24, 2010 — Heavy rain, potential for flooding, gusty winds and a heightened avalanche risk. That's what people in British Columbia have in store this weekend.

Additional rainfall expected through Sunday
Additional rainfall expected through Sunday

It was a stormy Christmas eve on the coast of B.C., with heavy rain and gusty winds hitting the province.

A low pressure system is rolling in off the Pacific, and it could bring more than 100 mm of rain to the western shores of Vancouver Island. Anywhere from 30 to 70 mm is possible in Metro Vancouver through Christmas Day.

Still, it's not just the rain people will need to watch out for. Winds gusting up to 100 km/h are also forecast across much of the south coast region. The gusts were strong enough to cause ferry delays and cancellations both Thursday and Friday.

In the Vancouver Island town of Courtenay, officials are warning residents to watch out for possible flooding in low-lying areas. Visitors to Tofino are being warned to watch out for dangerously large waves.

The avalanche risk has increased in parts of BC
The avalanche risk has increased in parts of BC

The same system is forecast to bring anywhere from 10 to 20 cm of snow to the higher elevations, including Whistler. Right now, the avalanche risk is rated “high,” and it could be elevated to “extreme” once the snow starts piling up.

In some areas, the snow and rain will persist over the next few days.

“This pattern over the last few weeks of a soaking onshore flow will continue into next week,” says Patrick Cool, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

To stay up-to-date on watches and warnings, be sure to check your local forecast.

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