VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A powerful windstorm has left many homes in the dark around Metro Vancouver Wednesday.
About 220,000 customers had been without power in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Southern Interior after strong winds caused extensive damage, according to BC Hydro.
BC Hydro has restored power to 86 per cent of the customers but as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, about 30,000 customers are still in the dark — nearly 14,000 of those are in the Lower Mainland.
Abbotsford, Victoria, and Vernon are the hardest-hit areas.
#BCStorm update: We have all available crews working around-the-clock to restore power but the damage is extensive. Crews are hard at work repairing or replacing damaged power lines, power poles and transformers. Operational update: https://t.co/vKyg3CBqLK pic.twitter.com/1m8MYKqEUx
— BC Hydro (@bchydro) January 14, 2021
The power outages forced the closure of several schools in Langley. Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary, Betty Gilbert Middle, Shortreed Elementary, Parkside Centennial Elementary. Coghlan Fundamental Elementary, North Otter Elementary.
UPDATED: School Status Alert: Wed. Jan.13 The following schools in the Langley School District are CLOSED to students for the day due to power outages: Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary, Betty Gilbert, Shortreed, Parkside Centennial, Coghlan Fundamental, North Otter. pic.twitter.com/l4BI5gqvTF
— Langley Schools (@LangleySchools) January 13, 2021
And there have been reports of downed power lines.
“A downed power line is considered an emergency situation and members of the public should stay at least 10 metres back and call 911 immediately,” reads a release from BC Hydro.
Downed trees and fallen branches had been a concern for commuters as well, with a large tree blocking West Queens Road at Thorncliffe Drive in North Vancouver.
Attention North Shore drivers. There is a large tree blocking the street – 900 blk of West Queens rd. Avoid the area as the road is completely blocked. pic.twitter.com/rzShThG802
— DNV Fire Rescue Services (@DNVFRS) January 13, 2021
The wind warning was lifted Wednesday morning.
NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Micheal Kuss says it will be gusty through the morning before tapering off in the afternoon.
“Sunshine on the way through the day, partly sunny anyway,” he adds.