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Severe thunderstorms knock out power, cause flash floods across parts of southern B.C.

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Thursday, July 24, 2014, 8:17 AM -

Widespread watches and warnings covered much of the country on Wednesday as thunderstorms fired up through the afternoon and evening hours.

In B.C., an intense band of thunderstorms moved across the southern regions, bringing flooding rains, frequent lightning and power outages in some places. 

B.C. Hydro says about 20,000 customers were affected at the peak of the storm with about 8,000 still in the dark Thursday morning.

EXTENDED ACTIVE WEATHER COVERAGE: Tune in to The Weather Network for live updates on the summer storms in your area. Our team of reporters and meteorologists in the field provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date coverage.

The storms resulted in sudden heavy downpours and flashing flooding in Kamloops, forcing some drivers to abandon their vehicles. 

According to Environment Canada, Kamloops was hit with about 25 mm of rain in less than 30 minutes, forcing water and debris onto streets and into homes.

City officials say the clean-up in Kamloops continues and crews are investigating the scope of the damage.

A similar flash flood was reported in the same area two years ago, but this time the flooding was more widespread officials say.

A rainfall warning was issued for B.C.'s South Peace River early Thursday with up to 50 mm of rain possible through Thursday.

While the moisture is good news for fire crews that have been struggling with wildfires, the drawback is the instability that could spark thunderstorms.

MUST READ: Believe it or not, some types of rain are not ideal for fighting fires

"Many of the large wildfires experienced so far this year have been caused by lightning strikes," says Weather network meteorologist Dayna Vettese.

For more B.C.'s fire season so far, check out this detailed analysis from Dayna Vettese.

Four things you need to know about Thursday, July 24
Believe it or not, some types of rain are not ideal for fighting fires
Rain to help firefighting efforts in B.C.
Severe weather potential from coast to coast

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