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Heavy rainfall contributes to train derailment near Vancouver

Digital writers

Sunday, January 12, 2014, 4:43 PM -

Saturday's torrential rains led to a train derailment near the Vancouver area, according to CN Rail spokeswoman Emily Hamer. 

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Hamer said the increased rain amounts caused a beaver dam to wash out, spilling great amounts of water onto the tracks and causing a train near Burnaby Lake in B.C.'s Lower Mainland to jump the tracks Saturday morning. 

She says seven cars went off the rails -- four of the cars were upright, but three had tipped over and spilt coal into a nearby creek that feeds into Burnaby Lake. In an interview with CBC, Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Wayne Baier said the Ministry of Environment is responding to the issue.

RELATED: Wet, windy pattern continues across British Columbia

The train is owned by CP Rail, but the crew and tracks are from CN Rail. 

Hamer says CN Rail is working to cleanup the tracks, which should be operational by Sunday afternoon. 

RCMP said Canada's Transportation Safety Board would be the lead agency to investigate the derailment. 

Two crew members were on board, but no injuries were reported.

SEE ALSO: Train derailment near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick sparks large fire

Vancouver and surrounding areas are in the midst of an unsettled pattern that's bringing large amounts of rainfall to the region.

The City has recorded nearly double the precipitation in the last 11 days, than the entire month of December.

Environment Canada is calling for an additional 15 mm of rainfall for Vancouver, and upwards of 100 mm by Monday morning for the Central Coast region.

One place that could use a break from the wet weather is Surrey, B.C., where heavy rains caused water pooling on roadways.

"Some parts of Whalley, I’ve seen some pretty intense flooding, but not this deep," said Surrey resident Bryan Whiffin in an interview with The Weather Network on Saturday. "Like, we had water up to the sides of our doors, almost coming in the doors, right. So, this SUV could barely make it through that, like we were pushing it."

On Saturday afternoon, two lanes were closed on Highway 99 south of Vancouver at Highway 91 because of pooling water. 

The Transportation Ministry was urging motorists to drive with caution and to check the DriveBC.com website for current information on provincial highways. 

With files from The Canadian Press

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