Drivers are asked to travel through the Elk Valley only if absolutely necessary, as heavy rains and localized flooding have battered the area.

According to Mainroad East Kootenay, flooding has caused a section of Highway 3 east of Fernie to close. Drive BC said the flooding is between Cunliffe Road and Caldwell Frontage Road. A detour is available through Dickens Road while crews work to get the flood under control.

A Rainfall Warning has been issued for the Elk Valley by Environment Canada, as the weather agency predicts torrential rain to fall on the southern part of the region until Monday evening.

“An atmospheric river continues to bring heavy rain, with an additional 40 mm expected by this evening (Monday). The rain will transition to snow this evening as cooler air enters the region causing freezing levels to drop,” said officials with Environment Canada.

Residents are advised to stay away from washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.