Flood Warnings and Advisories

Flood Warning – Vancouver Island (West & South)

ISSUED: 10:00 AM February 1, 2020

The River Forecast Centre is upgrading a Flood Warning for:

  • Western Vancouver Island
  • Southern Vancouver Island

The River Forecast Centre is upgrading to a Flood Watch for:

  • Eastern Vancouver Island

    Very heavy rainfall fell over Vancouver Island on Friday due to an atmospheric river. Temperatures increased considerably due to the sub-tropical source of the atmospheric river. The warmer temperatures created a rain-on snow event for many rivers on Vancouver Island.

    A summary of some rivers in Western Vancouver Island and Southern Vancouver Island that are now under Flood Warning include:

    • San Juan River near Port Renfrew (08HA010) peaked above 1300 m3/s at 1AM and was near a 100-yr flow. It is gradually receding.
    • Koksilah River at Cowichan Station (08HA003) reached 371 m3/s at 4am - between 50 and 100-yr flow. It is beginning to recede.
    • Cowichan River near Duncan (08HA011) is near 570 m3/s and nearing its peak. This is between a 20 and 50-yr flow.
    • Chemainus River near Westholme (08HA001) peaked at 3am with a flow above 700 m3/s - near a 50-yr flow. Flows are beginning to recede.
    • Nanaimo River near Cassidy (08HB034) is leveling off around 890 m3/s - near a 10-yr flow.

    A summary of some of the rivers in Eastern Vancouver Island under Flood Watch include:

    • Englishman River near Parksville (08HB002) peaked at 4am at 522m3/s - slightly above a 10-yr flow. Flows are beginning to recede.
    • Little Qualicum River near Qualicum Beach (08HB029) is flowing at 220m3/s which is slightly above a 20 year flow.

    The rainfall has ended and flows are expected to gradually recede through the rest of the weekend. There will a slower recession in rivers with lake sources like the Cowichan River.

    The public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-river-level period.

    The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor and provide updates as conditions warrant.

    Contact for Media Relations, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
    Tel: 250 356-7506

    Levels of Warnings/Advisories:

    1. High Streamflow Advisory: River levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible. This is the lowest level.
    2. Flood Watch: River levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur. This is the intermediate level.
    3. Flood Warning: River levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result. This is the highest level.


    1. Home of River Forecast Centre
    2. Current Streamflow Conditions and Flood Forecast Modeling
    3. Map of Current Streamflow Return Periods for All WSC Stations
    4. CLEVER Model 10-day Forecasts of Discharges and Return Periods
    5. COFFEE Model 5-day Forecasts of Discharges and Return Periods
    6. Back to page of Flood Warnings and Advisories