A Langley City vehicle blocked off a flooded road Monday morning, Nov. 15. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

A Langley City vehicle blocked off a flooded road Monday morning, Nov. 15. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley recovers from record rainstorm

‘We had many small problems, instead of one large problem’

Heavy rain that rolled through Langley left behind water-logged residential basements and parkades, and forced the temporary shutdown of dozens of roads.

However, no serious injuries or major damage was reported.

According to Environment Canada, 52.4 millimetres of rain fell in Langley on Monday, Nov. 15 beating the previous all-time record of 28 millimetres set in 1985.

It was part of an “atmospheric river” that happens when columns of moisture gather over the Pacific ocean in warm water plumes and travel in a band of vapor, bring torrential downpours.

READ ALSO: Drenching rains for Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley from ‘atmospheric river’

“It was a little crazy,” said Langley City deputy fire chief Scott Kennedy.

City crews responded to 33 calls in 24 hours, well above the usual 14 to 18, Kennedy estimated.

Several of the calls involved extricating motorists who had driven into deep puddles and couldn’t get out.

“We had many small problems, instead of one large problem,” Kennedy summarized.

READ ALSO: Driver rescued from submerged car in South Langley

In Langley City, where an overflowing Nicomekl river partially submerged pedestrian bridges, Rick Bomhof, director of engineering, parks and environment was asking residents to avoid flooded-out City parks and trails until staff can complete an assessment of damage and carry out any needed repairs.

Bomhof said the rain caused “significant” flooding in City parks, as well as “private floods” in various properties.

There was one incident involving a plugged culvert on 50th avenue near 197A St., where the City had to rent a pump to clear it, Bomhof added.

One of the newer metal pedestrian bridges was engulfed by rising water, but Bomhof was cautiously optimistic it would not require repairs.

There was, however, some concern about wooden pedestrian bridges, which could float, he said.

As of Tuesday, inspections had found no problems.

Russ Jenkins, Langley Township deputy fire chief, said their crews had triple their average workload on Monday, responding to 74 calls in 24 hours, far more than the average of 20 to 30, and most of them the result of weather-related calls.

“Everything from basement floods to parkades flooding,” Jenkins said.

Ins some cases, crews were able to assist by using a high capacity shop vac to extract water.

Jenkins said 15 calls involved downed power lines due to the windstorm that followed the rain, and many other calls involved alarm systems triggered by power outages when the lines went down.

Langley Township activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and crews “worked day and night responding to flooding, fallen trees, and other incidents,” a Township release said.

Crew were inspecting “numerous” locations, including parks and trails on Tuesday.

Four Township roads were closed due to “flooding and slope stability and erosion issues,” including 40th Avenue, west of 216th St., the 23600 block of 64th Avenue, 272nd Street between 48th and 40th Aves., and the 7800 block of 264th street.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley drenched by downpour

The Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope shelter in Langley opened a drying centre Monday morning for homeless people to get out of the rain.

“It was open all day,” said Gateway executive director Emmy Skates.

Gateway’s emergency services van was loaned out Tuesday to the Salvation Army in Abbotsford, serving 150 lunches and 4500 dinners to people displaced by the flooding at the TradeEx centre.

“We’re just really happy to support the Salvation Army unit in Abbotsford,” Skates said.


Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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