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Environment Canada has improved its warning systems since the last flooding disaster in B.C., and Premier David Eby says it will be on top of the latest series of atmospheric rivers rolling over the South Coast in the next few days.

Weather officials say some places could get up to 300 millimetres of rain between Saturday and the middle of next week, elevating flood risks.

Eby says there were justified concerns about failures to communicate the “gravity of the potential threats” ahead of an atmospheric river in November 2021 that triggered massive flooding and mudslides.

But he says the province has been working with Environment Canada to ensure residents get better warnings about extreme weather events, and he understands the agency has changed its approach.

Environment and Climate Change Canada says the South Coast will see periods of heavy rain combined with melting mountain snow from Saturday until Wednesday due to the latest atmospheric river.

It warns of potential flooding, high river levels and landslides in a zone covering Vancouver, Squamish and the Sunshine Coast as well as the Vancouver Island communities of Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Tofino and Campbell River.

Forecasts call for up to 300 millimetres of rain on West Vancouver Island and the Coast Mountains, with Howe Sound expecting up to 250 mm and the Fraser Valley up to 120 mm.

B.C.’s Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness said in a release late Thursday that the storms may also bring winds that could cause power outages, and the province’s River Forecast Centre is monitoring streamflow closely.

The centre has placed all of Vancouver Island, the Howe Sound region, the Sunshine Coast and parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley under a flood watch, with high streamflow advisories extending east into the Fraser Canyon and north into the Central Coast.

Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said the incoming weather system wasn’t likely to bring damage as severe as in 2021.

“We’re not anticipating (such) heavy precipitation, partly because of the direction that it’s coming from,” said Castellan.

Castellan is still warning residents to stay away from fast-moving rivers and said people with basements prone to flooding should be aware that this “may be one of those times.”

Drivers who plan to hit the road this weekend should check the DriveBC website to make sure roads are clear.

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