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Powerful winds cause damage, cut power to thousands in BC

Last Updated May 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm PST

One of the boats shattered by rocks in Kitsilano during the May 23rd wind storm (James Cybulski, NEWS 1130 photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – More than 85,000 homes and businesses were without power at the peak of a wind storm, which tore between the BC coast and the interior Tuesday.

As the sun rose Wednesday morning, BC Hydro crews were still working to bring roughly 10,000 customers back online in the Lower Mainland, plus thousands more across the province. Some 184,000 customers have had their power restored since the storm started.

“Crews have a lot of work to do today, there’s some extensive damage. So they will be doing things like repairing damaged lines as well as transformers and power poles,” says BC Hydro’s Mora Scott.

The power company brought on additional crews in anticipation of the storm, which was expected to bring gusts as high as 70 km/hr.

At least two boats could be seen smashed up against the rocks near the Maritime Museum in Vancouver this morning, likely due to the wind. There are also reports of tree branches blocking roads and disrupting traffic on various roads across the Lower Mainland.

The high winds also caused some localized flooding along Okanagan Lake overnight, according to the Central Okanagan Regional District.

Crews are out this morning clearing windfall from waterways, hoping to avoid more problems.

The water level in lake is up another 4.5 centimetres from yesterday. It’s still five centimetres below its highest recorded level set back in 1948.

NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Russ Lacate expects the wind to diminish steadily through the day.

Environment Canada’s special weather advisories alerting people to the wind storm have since been lifted for the Lower Mainland.