VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A wind storm with gusts as strong as 90 kilometres an hour Tuesday knocked out power for about 176,000 BC Hydro customers on the South Coast.
About half of the outages were in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast. The largest outages were in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Langley, Surrey, White Rock, and Maple Ridge.
About 28,000 customers in the northern portion of Vancouver Island also lost power, as did more than 16,000 in the southern part.
Many of the outages are due to large branches snapping and falling on power lines, according to BC Hydro.
“We do have all hands on deck right now and we’re prepared for additional outages as the afternoon goes on. We’re going to work as hard as we can to get everyone back up as quickly and safely as possible,” said Mora Scott, with the utility.
“We do have a team of in-house meteorologists that track the storms for us, so we know about them before they hit.”
Buntzen Lake was closed due to the wind warnings, according to Hydro.
The Abbotsford Police Department also issued a wind warning.
“Winds may toss loose objects, cause tree branches to break, and cause power outages. Watch roads for debris and be safe out there,” says a tweet from the department.
WIND WARNING- winds may toss loose objects, cause tree branches to break, & cause power outages. Watch roads for debris & be safe out there!
weather updates/info at https://t.co/9MfkNxJf2q
@bchydro for outages
Road conditions – https://t.co/5p4J64wqYb pic.twitter.com/WOpk4mtl0u
— Abbotsford Police Department (@AbbyPoliceDept) October 13, 2020
Meanwhile, BC Ferries cancelled a pair of morning sailings Tuesday due to a wind warning.
The first two sailings on the Tsawwassen to Duke Point route were cancelled. Sailings were also cancelled out of Port McNeill Bay, Hornby Island, and Quadra Island due to high winds.
The wind warning from Environment Canada covers the North Shore to Richmond and Hope, with gusts up to 90 kilometres per hour expected throughout the day.
“Widespread gusty winds are expected over Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Howe Sound today,” says Environment Canada.
People are advised to avoid wooded areas to keep from being hit by falling tree branches, and anybody trying to camp in this weather is told to move to a sturdy shelter.
Anyone who spots a downed power line is advised to stay at least 10 metres away and call 911 to report it.