Vancouver says it's prepared for 'heavy rainfall' in the forecast

Dec 13 2018, 12:54 am

With more heavy rain forecasted by Environment Canada, the City of Vancouver said it activated the Departmental Operations Centre (DOC) this afternoon to respond to possible flooding.

“Heavy rain falls can overwhelm drainage systems, leading to flooding, particularly in low lying areas,” the city said in a release. “The Departmental Operations Centre brings together crews from their normal duties, such as waste collection or construction, to deal with flash flooding.”

On Tuesday, the effects of this flash flooding were on full display – particularly in Burnaby,  where people shared shots of cars partially submerged in water on social media.

“Prior to heavy rain, the City proactively clears catch basins known to be prone to flooding,” the release said. “Additionally, the City works with a meteorologist for Vancouver-specific weather predictions and keeps staff on hand 24 hours a day to respond to weather incidents.”

Dealing with rain yourself

Residents are also being reminded of ways they can lessen the flood risk:

  • Use VanConnect: Reporting non-emergency flooding on City streets and sidewalks, fallen tree branches or other issues via the VanConnect app helps to inform the City’s operational response. Download the City’s mobile app, VanConnect at If there is an immediate safety issue call 3-1-1.
  • Clear a catch basin: We thank residents who take the time to clear catch basins near their property. In many cases, flooding is caused by leaves which can be quickly and safely removed, allowing City crews to deal with more severe instances of flooding.
  • Travel safe: Drive for the conditions and watch for people travelling on foot or by bicycle;
  • Report downed power lines: Report downed power lines to 911 and BC Hydro, 1-888-POWER-ON.
  • Check your basement: For residents who live in homes with basements, you may want to check your backflow valve or sump pump.
  • Know your obligations: Raking or blowing leaves into the street is a finable offence up to $10,000.

Heavy rains and high winds brought chaos to Metro Vancouver on Tuesday, and after a weather warning was issued, residents dealt with localized floodingSkyTrain disruptions, and ferry cancellations.

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