Three dams are holding back floodwaters from downstream. CNN’s Anthony Zurcher says it’s going to be “difficult” for water to move around, as water levels kept rising.
More than 100 residents are out of their homes as a massive rainstorm pummels Canada’s largest city. Heavy rain has been falling since Friday in British Columbia, triggering a series of evacuations as rivers burst their banks.
Key roads have been closed amid the heavy rains and flooding that damaged roads, homes and transport infrastructure.
Some homes are under 8 to 10 feet of water, CBC News reports.
A hiker from Mexico found herself stranded atop a dam Saturday evening while hiking on a trail along the Peace River in southeastern British Columbia.
Herperi Velie saw her crying as she called her husband, Carlos Hernandez, to make plans to rescue her from the muddy sides of the dam.
The pair fought the swift currents until the mother of three was safely in tow.
“We decided that maybe we had a different way of running to get her safely, so we clung to the pillars. There were a few seconds that I would hide because of the rain and fear, I’m sure,” Hernandez told CNN.
“She saw us, she looked down, and we reached out to her and asked if she was OK and she said yes. From there, I was just yelling at her to get up and come with us,” he added.
The intense rainfall is being described as “historic” and “historic flooding.”
More than 100 people have been displaced by flooding, and it could “be weeks” before the worst of the rain arrives in Vancouver, according to CBC News.
Mounties said Saturday the high water level of the Peace River did not prevent a 200-year-old log jam from giving way, following heavy rain in the region.
It quickly sank, and flooding ensued in certain areas as debris and mud blocked roads.
Vancouverites can expect flash flooding as rainfall totals are expected to reach 240 percent of the average by Sunday.
About 35 mm of rain were reported in the first 24 hours of the weather event, but an additional 50 mm are expected through the weekend.
The United States is expected to be affected by another round of storms this weekend and next week.
In areas directly affected by Canada’s weather, search and rescue efforts have begun, CNN reports. The Interior B.C. Joint Task Force has reached about a dozen households and lives have been saved, according to officials.
Homes that did not flood but remain inundated “don’t want to be flooded.”
Other residents have floated their own rafts to escape.