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Floods hit British Columbia, Washington hit by rains in latest storms

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. “There’s nothing to stop it,” he said.

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Meanwhile, periods of heavy rain on top of already saturated soils was expected to lead to “additional flooding and continued threats of landslides across western Washington,” the National Weather Service warned.

State of play: Abbotsford has been under evacuation alert since an atmospheric river event first brought record levels of rainfall, flooding and mudslides to the Pacific Northwest earlier this month. Braun said water levels in the city had exceeded 17 inches so far.

  • Fresh evacuation orders and alerts were issued for the region on Sunday amid the latest atmospheric river — including in one area of Abbotsford that was hit by a mudslide amid the heavy rains in the evening.
  • Parts of Washington were also under flood watches and warnings overnight.

What to watch: The latest atmospheric river, or plume of moisture, was slowly weakening overnight, but the National Weather Service said early Monday it was expected to produce heavy rains over parts of the Pacific Northwest through to Tuesday.

  • There’s a marginal risk of excessive rainfall over parts of the region through Monday.
  • “The associated areas of heavy rain will create localized areas of flash flooding, affecting areas that experience rapid runoff with heavy rain,” the NWS added. “The rain will continue on Tuesday over the Northwest, with less intensity.”

The bottom line: Extreme weather events are the clearest way we’re feeling climate change in our daily lives, Axios’ Andrew Freedman and Kia Kokalitcheva write.

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Go deeper: Extreme weather outruns the world

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with more details on the storm’s impact on Canada and further context.



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