Thunderstorms spawn severe weather warnings and floods across B.C.

Forecasters have issued a red alert for about 4.5 million residents of British Columbia, where a combination of thunderstorms and persistent rain Saturday has prompted the British Columbia provincial government to declare an “extremely hazardous” weather situation in an area encompassing the Peace River and the Elk Valley.

British Columbia Emergency Management said residents are warned to take “immediate action” to prepare for a multi-day period of severe thunderstorms, flooding and winds.

“Following intense rainfall in the Peace River Archipelago on Thursday, conditions today are ripe for life-threatening flash flooding,” the emergency manager for BC North Okanagan explained. “Thunderstorms will continue today, bringing damaging winds and heavy rain. Our #EliminateDanger campaign is ensuring everyone has essential items at home and in their vehicle in the event of a flash flood, tornadic storm, or severe wind event.”

FortisBC advised the public that “patience will be needed” because of the extreme weather conditions, and warned that isolated outages are possible. Some of the province’s main transportation systems are experiencing scattered delays and road closures as a result of the weather conditions.

Environment Canada is forecasting more showers and thunderstorms through early Saturday evening.

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