A state of local emergency has been issued in the Cowichan Valley due to heavy rainfall and flooding in the region.
Residents are being asked not to travel if at all possible.
The severe weather event has left many roadways flooded and some residents being forced to evacuate or be rescued from their flooded homes and vehicles.
The state of local emergency applies to areas of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, the Municipality of North Cowichan, City of Duncan, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation and Penelakut Tribe.
A reception centre for evacuated residents has been set up at the Cowichan Community Centre.
Many business have closed for the day due to power outages and/or staff not being able to pass flooded roadways, including the Duncan courthouse.
North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said folks have been asking about sandbags.
He posted for now, they are available at the North Cowichan Public Works Yard, just south of the municipal hall, for those who can get there.
“You’ll have to fill our own bags, though, so bring a shovel,” he indicated.
Monday morning Cowichan Search and Rescue used small boats to transport residents of the Meadow Glen apartments to higher ground where they were shuttled by RCMP to waiting school busses bound for the community centre.
Meanwhile, firefighters and first responders from across the valley, were working non-stop, particularly in the Westholme/Halalt and Cowichan Bay areas to rescue those trapped inside their homes.
“Residents in low-lying areas, particularly those prone to flooding, should be prepared to evacuate at any time,” said a press release from the Cowichan Valley Regional District. “Any additional evacuation orders will be posted to the Alertable network and door-to-door notifications will be completed in affected areas. Residents can also check the CVRD website for up-to-date information on evacuation alerts and orders going forward.”