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More than 120,000 without power, trees down, as winds batter the Lower Mainland

Last Updated Dec 20, 2018 at 8:06 pm PDT

Summary

Tens of thousands of BC Hydro customers are without power

Commuters also had to deal with multiple ferry cancellations and debris on the roads

A fallen tree in Surrey has also sent one man to hospital

LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS 1130) – A shed has been destroyed in the Fraser Valley, tree branches have fallen across some roads, there have been multiple ferry cancellations, and more than 120,000 customers are without power as strong winds continue to batter the Lower Mainland. Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford are the hardest-hit.

Including the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and on Vancouver Island, more than 335,000 customers do not have power.

RELATED: Multiple BC Ferries cancellations due to high winds

BC Hydro crews try to repair lines damaged by the winds. At this point, there are no reports of any major delays at local airports. Some parks and trails have been closed because of the weather including Stanley Park and Port Coquitlam’s Wellington Park and parts of Hyde Creek Trail.

Stanley Park’s matinee program for the Bright Nights Christmas Train has also been cancelled until further notice.

“We’re seeing a number of outages as the result of the high winds” said Tanya Fish with BC Hydro.

Customers in the dark by the numbers

  • Surrey: 45,000 customers without power
  • Nanaimo: 36,000 customers without power
  • Victoria: 34,000 customers without power
  • Duncan: 30,000 customers without power
  • Abbotsford: 28,000 customers without power

 

BC Ferries was also forced to cancel multiple sailings due to the weather. Commuters also faced multiple issues on the roads with trees and debris blocking the way. Many people took it to social media to share photos of some of the damage.

Meanwhile, a worker in Surrey had to be taken to hospital after a tree fell on him, and a tree falling on a car in Duncan has killed one person, the B.C. Coroner’s Service has confirmed.

Fish says all hands on deck, “During windstorms like this, we do put additional crews and powerline technicians on standby in our storm room so they’re able to respond quickly. We also bring additional call centre agents on to take customer calls as those start to pop-up.”

If you do come across a downed power line, Fish says people should make sure to stay away from it by at least the length of a school bus and call 911.

Photos of the damage shared online

 

-With files from Monika Gull and Marcella Bernardo