A storm battering B.C.’s South Coast knocked out power to more than 170,000 customers overnight on Friday as nearly 20 ferry sailings were cancelled over the course of the evening.
As of 11:50 a.m. PT on Saturday, B.C. Hydro said nearly 80,000 customers were still without power on the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast, with more than 4,000 affected on Vancouver Island.
In a statement, a B.C. Hydro spokesperson said that crews were working to restore power by repairing downed power poles and equipment.
B.C. Hydro spokesperson Kevin Aquino said Friday the Crown utility would work overnight as the storm hit, with winds expected to continue Saturday morning.
This <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCStorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BCStorm</a> system knocked down many trees & crews will continue to be busy repairing damaged power lines, poles and other equipment Here’s an update from our team: <a href=”https://t.co/I21X7GSUSh”>https://t.co/I21X7GSUSh</a><br>📞Report fallen power lines: 911<br>📱Outage updates: <a href=”https://t.co/JY7BGKJAWw”>https://t.co/JY7BGKJAWw</a> <a href=”https://t.co/5QxerCjpjo”>pic.twitter.com/5QxerCjpjo</a>
“As storm season begins, drought-weakened trees are more susceptible to break and snap and come into contact with our electrical infrastructure, which may cause power outages,” Aquino told CBC News.
B.C. Ferries cancelled sailings between the mainland and Vancouver Island on Friday evening.
The cancellations affected all scheduled routes after 8:15 p.m. PT, B.C. Ferries said, except a handful of late sailings to the Sunshine Coast, Salt Spring Island, and Bowen Island.
On Saturday morning, ferry service was returning as usual — with some delays reported across the network.
Environment Canada said that southwest B.C. could see gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour, with an estimated 70 millimetres of rain set to drop on the Fraser Valley.
The federal weather agency issued a winter storm warning for the Coquihalla Highway, or Highway 5, from Hope to Merritt.
As a precaution, B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation closed Highway 1 overnight in the Fraser Canyon south of Lytton. The closure stretched from Boothroyd, north of Boston Bar, up to Lytton.
The closure was due to the potential for debris flows in areas hit by wildfires, according to DriveBC. The highway reopened as of 12 p.m. PT Saturday, according to the province.
❄️<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCHwy5?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BCHwy5</a> – Snowshed protocol remains in effect. Remember to watch for changing road and weather conditions, as well as snow plows.<br><br>ℹ️ Expect reduced speeds throughout the corridor. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/HopeBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#HopeBC</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/MerrittBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#MerrittBC</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Coquihalla?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Coquihalla</a><br><br>ℹ️ <a href=”https://t.co/7faCiLePkr”>https://t.co/7faCiLePkr</a> <a href=”https://t.co/cydYXZnzrn”>https://t.co/cydYXZnzrn</a> <a href=”https://t.co/oSh7PZcNv3″>pic.twitter.com/oSh7PZcNv3</a>
Forecasters say the rain should taper off over parts of Metro Vancouver on Saturday morning but will persist in the Fraser Valley until the evening.
Up to 20 centimetres of snow is expected in the Manning – Skagit Valley region on Saturday.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcstorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#bcstorm</a> <a href=”https://t.co/7u8M3t2Uhb”>https://t.co/7u8M3t2Uhb</a>
Environment Canada says downpours could be heavy enough to lead to flash floods and water pooling on roads.
A special weather statement covering portions of the Coquihalla and Trans-Canada highways, as well as Highway 3, says 20 to 30 centimetres of snow is expected on mountain passes by Sunday morning. Heavy snowfall is expected to abate by Sunday morning.