CANADA NEWS: B.C. urges residents of province’s North Coast to prepare for severe weather

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CANADA NEWS:

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a series of warnings and special weather statements for the northern half of British Columbia.

Orca whales are pictured in Chatham Sound near Prince Rupert, B.C. Environment Canada is forecasting heavy rains for the area. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press)

British Columbia is asking residents along the province’s North Coast to be ready for severe weather this weekend.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a series of warnings and special weather statements for the northern half of the province.

The special weather statement for the North Coast said Prince Rupert could record up to 150 milimetres of rain by Monday morning. Haida Gwaii is also expected to get up to 60 mm of rain.

Other areas inland could see up to 20 cm of snow by Sunday afternoon.

The River Forecast Centre issued a flood watch for the North Coast, including Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Hartley Bay, Kemano and surrounding areas.

The provincial government asked residents in these area to prepare for stormy weather by clearing gutters on homes, checking nearby storm drains for blockages, storing valuables in water-tight containers in case of flooding and having an emergency plan.

A full list of recommendations from the province is listed here.

Prince Rupert broke a record for the most rain to fall in the city in a single summer in at least a century during the summer of 2020. (Carolina de Ryk/CBC)

The warning over potential severe weather comes as other regions in B.C. work to recover from extreme weather last weekend that cut off highways, flooded farmland and forced evacuations.

This week there were questions about if the province had done enough leading into the Remembrance Day weekend to warn residents over the potential impact of extreme weather.

The weather system hitting the North Coast is expected to move south on Monday to areas that were already vulnerable to previous flooding, Environment and Climate Change Canada said. But forecasters said the weather system should weaken as it moves south.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said extra crews and equipment are on standby, ready to respond as necessary with potential impacts from severe weather.

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