Heavy Rainfall

Living in North Vancouver and the Vancouver area means rain is a frequent reality. When rain is particularly heavy, it can cause traffic disruption, flooding, drainage and sewer problems and potential water contamination from runoff or in flooded areas.

City crews patrol the municipality to clear leaves and other debris away from culverts and catch basins to ensure adequate drainage is maintained. Residents are asked to check the catch basins in front of their homes and clear away any leaves from the openings, as well as clear gutters of any debris.

Rainfall Warnings

During periods of heavy rainfall, please stay clear of all creeks and rivers. Heavy rainfall results in higher water levels, and there may be elevated risks of flooding and debris flow. Residents living along creeks and rivers are urged to exercise extreme caution and to stay away from the river's edge.

Rainfall warnings are issued when heavy or prolonged rainfall is sufficient to potentially cause local or widespread flooding or flash floods. If travelling, give yourself extra time since sections of road may be flooded and driving conditions may be treacherous, especially in low-lying or mountainous areas.

During periods of heavy rainfall:

  • Drive carefully, slow down and give yourself more time to get where you are going. Roads covered with pooled flood waters can look very different.
  • Check catch basins near your home and clear away any leaves from the openings, as well as clear gutters of any debris.
  • If you live near waterways, stay alert for changing conditions. Listen to your local media, check weather websites and follow instructions issued by local emergency officials.
  • Creeks can be hazardous since their channels tend to be narrow and they can fill up very quickly. Creeks and rivers can jump their banks and eroding banks can result in unstable ground. People should be particularly attentive to keeping children and pets away from creeks and rivers and watch for rising levels.
  • If you are in a low-lying area which is prone to flooding, consider having sand bags and other tools on hand. Think about clearing basements, garages and crawls spaces in preparation of possible flooding.

To report weather related problems such as drainage or flooding, please contact:

City Operations Yard
Tel: 604-987-7155. After Hours Response Line at 604-988-2212.
Email: eng@cnv.org

Flood tips

Preparing for a potential flood, protecting yourself during a flood and getting your home in order after being impacted by a flood can seem overwhelming.

Flood water may contaminate drinking water supplies, introduce pollutants and debris into your home and lead to malfunction of sewage disposal systems. Protecting yourself and your family from illness is a critical part of getting your life back to normal. Following a substantial flood there may also be damage to roads and utilities in your community. Electricity may be shut off, telephone and internet may not work, and basic services like sewage and water may not be available for some time.

  • Flood waters can be unpredictable and can have serious, life safety impacts. Keep children and pets away from waterways during times of increased water elevations and rapid flows.
  • If you receive an evacuation order, leave the area immediately. Failing to leave when instructed can endanger both you and the lives of first-responders. If ordered to leave, take your emergency kit and lock the door. If there's time, move essential items off the floor to an elevated location.
  • If instructed, turn off utilities at main switches or valves. DO NOT touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Stay out of moving water and never walk through it. Even 15.25 centimetres (six inches) of moving water can make you fall and because of dangerous debris beneath the surface or strong currents, it can put you at risk of drowning.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas or park along streams, rivers and creeks. Sixty centimetres (two feet) of water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks.
  • Avoid river and stream banks. What looks like stable ground can be eroded beneath and give way without warning.
  • More information and tips on getting prepared for a flood in British Columbia.

Emergency Assistance

If you require emergency services, please call 9-1-1 for police, fire and ambulance assistance.

For non-emergency information visit:

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