When Langley City resident Bryan Grim saw how much heavy rain had raised the Nicomekl River overnight, he messaged neighbour Joe Melissen to let him know it was a good time to break out the kayaks.
Where Grim and Melissen live, in the area of 197 Street and 51 Avenue, their houses are on higher ground, above the Nicomekl flood plain.
“We’re way above it,” Grim explained.
But their back yards are lower, which is where they put swings and trampoline and other forms of outdoor recreation, all of which got a good soaking.
With the water levels higher, Melissen and his five-year-old daughter Mae were able to paddle over to pay Grim a visit before returning to their yard, where Melissen used the nearly-submerged trampoline in his back yard as an improvised diving board.
For other residents, the heavy rain was a story of flooded basements and forced multiple road closures in due to severe water pooling and mudslides.
Paul Taylor of Langley-based Taylor Restoration Services said his small family-owned water remediation company typically averages one call every three days.
“I’ve had 15 flooded basements [in Langley and Surrey] this morning, Taylor told the Langley Advance Times.
“Probably my busiest day in 12 years.”
Jerrad Brooks at the Langley Plumbing company has to raise his voice while speaking on the phone to be heard over the sound of rushing water.
“It’s crazy,” said Brooks, who was on his third basement of the day late Saturday morning, after being called in on his day off.
He said calls had at least doubled.
An operator on duty at the Langley-based Paul Davis Fraser Valley water damage restoration service said by late morning, 15 calls had come in.
As of Saturday, 240th Street between 80th Avenue and Rawlison Crescent and 88th Avenue between Armstrong Road and 252nd Street and 252A Crescent from 254 Street to 72 Avenue were closed until further notice due to slope failure or road instability.
As water levels receded, barriers were coming down from:
- 21855 and Zero Avenue
- 1200 Block, 232 Street
- 8500 Block, 256 Street
- 21600 Block, 100 Avenue
- 36A Avenue, 200 metres east of 248 Street
- 43 Avenue, east of 272 Street
- 272 Street, north of 43 Avenue
- 272 Street, north of Fraser Highway
- 32 Avenue and 216 Street
- 24 Avenue from 208 to 216 Streets
- 28 Avenue and 216 Street
- Walnut Grove Trail, between 206 and 208 Streets
A notice issued by the Township engineering department advised residents to “take extra caution when driving in the area” even if you feel your vehicle can handle the runoff.
Residents who spot pooling of water or flooding on the street are asked to call the engineering division during regular business hours at 604-532-7300 or, after hours or weekends call 604-543-6700.
A watermain break was reported early Saturday afternoon on 201 Street, north of 101A Avenue.
It forced the shutdown of 201 Street between 101A Avenue and 102B Avenue.
Travellers were requested to avoid the area while crews worked to repair the main, and restore service as soon as possible.
Please be aware some roadways in the Township are experiencing severe water pooling due to heavy rain. For your safety, take extra caution when driving in the area even if you feel your vehicle is capable of doing so. Read more: https://t.co/NHbtxWP8QV pic.twitter.com/hIkhTyFhln
— Township of Langley (@LangleyTownship) January 31, 2020
An extreme weather warning was issued by the Gateway of Hope homeless shelter in Langley after a forecast of 50 mm of rain was issued for 24 hours including Friday and into early Saturday.
The alert means the shelter will offer some more sleeping spaces, up to the building’s maximum capacity.
In South Surrey, mudslides along the Crescent Beach area halted freight and passenger-train service between Vancouver and Bellingham until further notice.
Langley residents were advised to clear leaves and debris from nearby curbs, catch basins, and driveway culverts.
To prevent water problems, clean gutters and ensure water from downspouts drain away from your residence.
Do not rake or push leaves onto the street or into open ditches.
For Langley, the forecast was for light rain ending later in the morning, a mix of sun and clouds in the afternoon, and a possibility of mixed rain and snow overnight and Sunday.
Rainfall warnings have been ended for most of the south coast, but continue for Hope and the Fraser Canyon. Here's a summary of some rainfall totals up to 4 am today. https://t.co/WpF9mS1RPM #BCstorm pic.twitter.com/GUTyAYOZng
— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCCWeatherBC) February 1, 2020
Several resident posted pictures of the flooding online to the Langley Advance Times Facebook page..