Heavy rains trigger North Shore floods and slides

Thursday night’s gullywasher dealt some damage to North Shore streets, trails and private property.

According to Environment Canada, 65 millimetres of rain fell on West Vancouver between midnight and the early morning. At higher elevations, the Mount Strachan station recorded 75 mm. In North Vancouver, the Mahon Park station picked up 39 mm.

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Metro Vancouver crews have had to deal with two significant washouts in Grouse Mountain Regional Park and Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.

Heavy rains in one of MacKay Creek’s tributaries triggered a debris torrent across the Baden Powel Trail at its junction with the BCMC Trail. Metro staff have set up a detour to allow hikers through. The slide slopped mud across the upper Grouse Mountain parking lot, but the resort is in the midst of a two-week shutdown to prepare for the winter season.

“We’re doing a bit of clean-up today but we don’t expect to it impact our winter preparation projects or maintenance,” said Julie Grant, Grouse Mountain spokeswoman.

“All of these trails are currently being assessed for damage and repair. We’re working as quickly as we can do to these repairs and hopefully we don’t sustain any more damage than we have,” said Tom McComb, regional operations supervisor for Metro Vancouver parks.

McComb said they expect to have an engineer on site to help plan repairs on Monday.

Before going out to any Metro Vancouver park, it’s a good idea to check the park’s website first

“There could be updates that we want to ensure the public hears about before they actually get to the site,” said McComb.

With another 50 millimetres of rain in the forecast over the weekend, everyone heading out onto the North Shore’s trails should be cautious, McComb advised.

“We’re in fairly turbulent weather conditions. People should be prepared when they’re travelling in the backcountry or even the front country, for that matter,” he said.

“District public works crews and members of West Vancouver Fire & Rescue and West Vancouver Police worked through the night to address issues related to the flooding. Damage incurred to private property and district infrastructure due to this flooding is still being assessed,” a statement from the district read Friday afternoon. “We encourage residents to help keep catch basins clear and to avoid sweeping leaves onto the roadway to prevent flooding. Creeks are still running high. Please maintain a safe distance from all creek banks.”

Anyone who spots a flood is asked to call West Vancouver’s 24/7 dispatch line at 604-925-7100.

Crews were also out in the District of North Vancouver inspecting culverts and debris barriers Thursday, said Stephanie Smiley, district spokeswoman.

In one spot in Grousewoods, crews removed six tandem dump trucks of rock, gravel and wood from a creek culvert inlet.

Smiley said the upgrades the municipality made to its culvert system following the dramatic Kilmer Creek flood in 2014 were important in preventing further flooding in the district

In the City of North Vancouver, a water main break in the 600 block of West 2nd Street, near the intersection of 2nd and 3rd streets, on Thursday night added to the soggy situation and resulted in traffic being rerouted.

Water was shut off Friday as crews worked to find the break.

City spokeswoman Connie Rabold said in an email crews don’t know yet what caused the break.

Crews were still working to repair the water main on Friday afternoon.

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