cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:22:01 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

B.C. weather: thunderstorms, flooding hit Kelowna, Kamloops

Twitter user Jeff Schenderling took this photo of a car stuck on flooded River Road in Kamloops, next to the South Thompson River. @JSchenderling/Twitter

Twitter user Jeff Schenderling took this photo of a car stuck on flooded River Road in Kamloops, next to the South Thompson River. @JSchenderling/Twitter

Kelowna, B.C. has been hit with drenching rain and lightning, briefly knocking out power in the city's downtown, as a band of intense thunderstorms moves across the southern region of the province.

Storms resulted in sudden heavy downpours in Kamloops, B.C.,causing flash flooding on riverside roads, waterfalls on golf courses and lightning strikes in the downtown area.

A low-pressure system sliding up from Washington's coast will continue to bring heavy rain, dangerous hail and thunderstorms to southern B.C. through Thursday, Environment Canada is forecasting.

- For updates, follow our live blog below:

On Wednesday, Environment Canada posted special weather statements advising that heavy rains were likely to pour down across a wide area including Victoria, Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, the Fraser Canyon, Quesnel, the Columbia region, the Kootenays and the Okanagan.

The agency also warned that thunderstorms were brewing for areas east of the Fraser Canyon.

Thunderstorm watches were in effect for the Boundary, Arrow Lakes and West Columbia regions.

Environment Canada said that in those regions "conditions are favourable for the development of dangerous thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and torrential rain."

Environment Canada recommends people stay indoors in those areas: "There isn't a place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm."

To the west, the heavy rain was thought most likely to hit late on Wednesday night.

"Some computer models are suggesting excessive rain that may trigger short-fuse rainfall warnings across the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island later today," Environment Canada said in the special weather statement.

In areas where localized flooding occurs, motorists are being warned that fast-moving water across a road can sweep vehicles away. 

Environment Canada said in those parts of southeast B.C. that may see the heaviest showers, people should avoid rapidly rising rivers and creeks, which can sweep away bridges, culverts, buildings, and people.

more video