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Port Coquitlam issues extreme weather planning guide as more rain expected to pummel the region

Port Coquitlam is asking residents to be prepared as next rain storm expected to hit overnight on Wednesday
Port Coquitlam flooding
A backhoe from Port Coquitlam public works tries to dislodge debris from a flooded culvert in Hyde Creek in February, 2020. (File photo).

Port Coquitlam residents are being encouraged to prepare for more storms this winter after a devastating rainstorm hit B.C.'s south coast last week.

The next test could be as early night as Wednesday as Environment Canada is forecasting heavy rains in Metro Vancouver, including the Tri-Cities region.


Port Coquitlam firefighters are raising funds for Abbotsford flood relief. See post at bottom of the story.


Environment Canada released the special weather statement Tuesday morning (Nov. 23) alerting residents that another round of heavy rain is on its way.

The areas affected include Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, the North Shore including West Vancouver and North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Langley, Richmond and Delta.

“The next storm system is set to arrive on the BC South Coast overnight Wednesday,” Environment Canada explains. “This storm will be shorter-lived and less intense than the event over November 13–15, 2021.”

The rain storm isn't expected to be as long as the extreme rain event that pummelled the area with 208 mm of rain in three days, 70 per cent of the region's November rainfall, flooding parking lots, streets, trails and homes.

In Port Coquitlam, the city received 130 calls for service and handed out 300 sandbags to residents.

Now the city is urging residents to be prepared for future storms this winter.

"While there is no way to predict exactly when and how Port Coquitlam will be affected, severe weather events are becoming more of the norm and local residents and businesses are urged to be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours," the city states in its press release.

Residents are also encouraged to visit the city's emergency preparedness web portal for information on how to get prepared for a major weather event.

Some handy tips include:

  • Signing up for a free emergency preparedness course
  • Have supplies for 72 hours, including food for each person, a windup or battery-powered radio, flashlight and batteries, extra prescription medications, copies of important papers, and warm clothing and waterproof footwear for every family member. These supplies should be placed in a portable grab and go kit, such as a backpack, and stored in an easy to reach place known by all

BEFORE A STORM

  • Clear away leaves and debris from nearby catchment basins
  • Move personal items from low lying areas to prevent loss
  • Relocate your vehicle to street parking if parked in an underground lot
  • Charge devices and rechargeable battery packs before the storm
  • Make sure you know how to use a generator safely (not inside the home or enclosed space)
  • Use a battery-powered light instead of candles
  • Ensure each family member has identification. Name tags on children’s clothing, wallet cards and wristbands are useful in case you are separated. Remind everyone of the location of your family emergency meeting place

DURING A MAJOR STORM

  • Report flooding, trees of concern, fallen branches or other issues on city property to Public Works online at portcoquitlam.ca/report, email publicworks@portcoquitlam.ca, call 604-927-5496 or through the PoCo Sort and Report App (download at portcoquitlam.ca/sortreport). Trees on private property are the owner’s responsibility.
  • Report downed power lines to 911 and BC Hydro: 1-888-POWER-ON. If you come across a downed or damaged power line, stay back at least 10 metres (30 feet)
  • Only call 911 when there is imminent danger to people or property, and immediate police or fire assistance is required. This includes incidents related to an ongoing emergency, fire or crime in progress, or suspicious people in the area.
  • Call the non-emergency numbers for Coquitlam RCMP (604-945-1550) or Fire & Emergency Services (604-927-5466) when there is no immediate emergency
  • Limit travel when possible. If absolutely necessary, drive, bike or walk carefully, and do not enter flooded roads or pathways. Watch for debris and use four-way stop procedures at intersections when signals aren’t working
  • Limit opening your fridge and freeze to preserve food if you are impacted by a power outage. If the power is out for an extended period, carefully inspect all food and do not eat any food you think may not be safe. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Check on neighbours who may need help, such as seniors, people with special needs, or families with young children

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION

According to the press release, the City of Port Coquitlam will provide updates on its social media.

Field closures will be announced via portcoquitlam.ca/sportsfields  or call 604-927-5455 for a recorded message. 

For information about Port Coquitlam’s Emergency Program, contact ep@portcoquitlam.ca or 604-927-5460.

- with a file from Cameron Thomson, Vancouver Is Awesome