Living in Squamish and on the Island, I have certainly experienced floods. In those places sometimes it rains and rains and rains. It rains so much for so long that eventually rivers/lakes/ditches just overflow. This usually takes a while of heavy steady rain though, days or maybe weeks.
The flood here in Fort St John happened after we had had about two months almost without any rain at all. The day of the flood was actually, quite a nice day! But in the afternoon, as is often the case up here, a wind started up. This wind was soon blowing like crazy and the kids came running in from outside (you know it is pretty good when the kids come in, they have been known to chase little mini-tornadoes down the street). Then around 5 o'clock it started to rain... by 5:30 it was raining so hard I took a video of it. (** This video didn't work on here... it is a sketchy, video of RAIN so it isn't very exciting, but it was REALLY heavy rain you could see in a video!)
The only time I had ever seen rain that heavy was when hubby and I were in Florida. We went out for a walk around the South Beach area before we were to catch a plane to the Bahamas (I just had to rub that in a bit). Anyway as we were out for this walk in Florida, it started to rain. We watched everyone run for cover as it started to rain, and we just laughed to ourselves thinking what wimps these people were... We came from the land of rain, here we were in a warm tropical place, a little rain was going to feel nice! Nothing to run from! Well, then it started to rain harder and harder, within a few moments we were practically alone on the streets (everyone else had run for cover!) and we were starting to try to find cover under a palm tree... that was no good so we went for a doorway. It was like someone had dumped buckets of water on us, and was still dumping them from the sky. The edges of the road were full to the sidewalks and little creeks were running down the sidewalks too. Anyway, we wound up having to walk in the rain anyway because we had to get back to the hotel to catch a taxi to get on an airplane, by the time we got to the hotel they just laughed at us and gave us towels to dry off with in the lobby.
Back to FSJ! It was raining so hard and still blowing like crazy and then the lightning and thunder started. We get some pretty awesome thunderstorms up here, some last for hours, some are so close they shake your whole house. This one did both! I quickly cooked up dinner before the power went out and stood at the window watching. The power flickered off and on a few times before it finally stayed off... and then that was it. By 6:45 the storm was over, the sun came out and it was beautiful outside. Hubby gets home from work around 7 o'clock and he barely saw any of the storm (he works about 20 minutes south-east from home). They didn't have any of it at his work.
So once the sun came out and hubby came home, we decided to go outside and see if there were any problems... mostly around our window-well that doesn't drain very well (at all!). So we went and bailed some water out of it (it wasn't too bad though) and picked up the things that had blown around/away. My daughter then noticed that the back alley was a lake... so while we were out there looking at that, we looked over at the park a few doors down from us and saw a real lake.
There is not supposed to be a lake over at this park, although that would be excellent, so my hubby being male, instantly thought about toys and wheeled his inflatable boat over and took the kids for a boat ride at their park. They rowed around for about an hour, there is a large drainage ditch that is supposed to contain the water, but there was just so much it overflowed the banks... by a lot. Overall only a large field and the ditches overflowed, so it was great and they had a ball.
No damage to property, at least at our end of town. The other end of town didn't fair so well, some basements filled up and the movie theatre was filled up the the third row of seats. Also, one house was struck by lightning, although apparently they only had a small fire at their fuse box.
The city requested everyone get an assessment of the damages to make a claim for disaster relief and last I heard they didn't have enough damages to qualify. So overall it was more exciting than damaging. The truly strange part to me was the fact that the next morning, when I got up and looked over at the park, the lake was GONE. Our lake was only there for the one evening and then gone... Another strange thing that came out after the fact was that we got so much rain in those two hours (I forget how much now, but a lot) and yet to the east and west of us by ten minutes, they barely got any rain at all, only a light shower of rain. This included our airport which is where our official weather is documented. This means that according to the records, we had almost no rain for the month of July, well below normal levels...
It was awesome to see and witness such a powerful storm, it makes me realize that I can't even imagine what it might be like in a real hurricane. But there you go, we had a tropical storm... in the prairies!
Another sketchy video, this one showing the lightning flashes, hearing the thunder and watching the lights go out, come on and go out... as well as the kids and the dog!