British Columbia's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. Heavy rain across B.C. has led to several closures on major highways connecting the Lower Mainland and the Interior region of the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Heavy rain sets off flooding, rock and mudslides in southern B.C.

VANCOUVER — Relentless rain has caused mud and rock slides in several locations in southern B.C., displacing some residents and prompting highway closures.

The City of Abbotsford opened a reception centre Sunday for residents who couldn’t get home or who were evacuated because of mudslides or flooding at several locations.

The city says in a statement that mud or rock slides have cut off several routes, and that those who need shelter or assistance can go to the Abbotsford Recreational Centre.

Several highways connecting the Lower Mainland and B.C.’s Interior were also severed by rock, mud and debris, including the closure in both directions of Highway 5 between Hope and Merritt.

Drive BC, the provincial online travel information centre, also says Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon was closed in both directions due to rocks on the road north of Yale, while eastbound traffic on the same route in Chilliwack was cut by a mudslide.

A so-called atmospheric river has hammered southern B.C., with rain along the coast or snow in the eastern part of the province, and Environment Canada said it wasn’t expected to let up until Monday.

Flooding on Sunday cut off access on Highway 11 to the Sumas border crossing into the United States. Drivers were diverted to other Lower Mainland crossings until the possible reopening of the route on Monday.

Drive BC reported late Sunday night that flooding had also closed Highway 7 in both directions in the Maple Ridge and Kent areas.