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Flood waters from Nanaimo River reach front doors in areas of Cedar

Wilkinson and Raines roads closed
Residents Jenny Kuhnley and Russ Swift watch drivers decide whether to attempt to navigate a flooded section of Akenhead Road in Cedar on Monday morning. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

A weekend of heavy rains have flooded the riverbanks in and around Nanaimo.

There is flooding along the Nanaimo River in Cedar as well as other areas of the region, with highway closures in the Cowichan Valley and on the Malahat.

“Flooding is occurring on both the Englishman and Nanaimo Rivers and water levels are expected to continue to rise into the afternoon,” noted a social media post from the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Wilkinson and Raines roads in Cedar are closed. Carly Trobridge, search manager with Nanaimo Search and Rescue, said no residents are stranded, but homes on Wilkinson have been evacuated, with about eight residents currently affected. Water has reached the front doors at some homes and is waist deep in many areas, she said.

Cedar Community Hall is being used as reception centre.

Trobridge advises members of the public to stay away from riverbanks and added that with high tide at 3 p.m. on Monday, water levels will rise.

“We encourage people to stay away from this area in particular for their safety and the safety of our members as well,” she said, referring to Nanaimo Search and Rescue’s command centre at the intersection of Cedar, Harmac and Raines roads.

The RDN directs residents to B.C.’s River Forecast Centre to stay up to date on flood warnings and advisories. There are flood warnings in effect on the Englishman River and Cowichan River, and a high streamflow advisory in effect on central Vancouver Island.

“A significant atmospheric river has made landfall across southern coastal regions of British Columbia,” the flood warning notes. “Observed rainfall amounts since Saturday have been in the 120-270-millimetre range across southern Vancouver Island and 60-175mm across western, central and eastern Vancouver Island.

The City of Nanaimo is working to reopen a section of Ninth Street at Bruce Avenue where there is a washout.

READ ALSO: Malahat closes again, Island Highway remains closed near Crofton due to flooding

READ ALSO: British Columbians warned to brace for further torrential rain, flooding through Monday

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