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Island city faces flash floods in midst of Saturday storm

As Vancouver Island faces drought conditions, flash floods are two words likely not on the minds of locals.

But on Saturday, that all changed, especially for those in Campbell River.

At around 5:00 pm, heavy rainfall left many in town scrambling. Water quickly filled the streets, most notably areas in and surrounding the downtown core.

Campbell River Fire crews called to help after car gets stuck on flooded road (Photo: Ethan Morneau, staff)

After getting stuck bearing the brunt of the storm, local Annie Ardell Carr posted a ‘rave’ to the Campbell River Rants and Raves Facebook page.

“Due to an error in judgment, we got stuck on the flooded highway, in front of the Home Depot,” Carr explained. “Thank you so much to the CR Fire Department, two very kind strangers, and friends Tina and Mark, for helping us out of this situation so unselfishly. We can’t tell you how much we appreciated all of you.”

Meanwhile, local Alicia Hurley said the rain left her 3500-sqft daycare space, Sweetpeas Child Care, completely flooded.

“I wish all the businesses along 11th Avenue best of luck getting through this and other small businesses that were affected,” she said. “I hope everyone can pull through as we need all our local small businesses.”

Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan says Campbell River and Powell River each got around 13-millimeters of rain over a short period of time on Saturday. Meantime, the Comox Valley received roughly the same amount, combining what fell late Friday night into Saturday.

READ MORE: Saturday’s sudden downpour ‘drop in an empty bucket’

While Castellan tells Vista Radio 13-millimetres doesn’t sound like a lot, it can overwhelm culverts and storm drains if it all happens at once.

But the storm didn’t just leave backed-up drains, it left people in the dark. Among a handful of power outages, one of note was in Courtenay. As the rain came down, BC Hydro said over 500 customers in the Headquarters area were left without power.

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