Power cut, ferries cancelled as wind storm hits B.C.'s South Coast
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 8:29AM PST
Last Updated Monday, November 13, 2017 7:03PM PST
High winds knocked out power in parts of B.C.'s South Coast Monday as a low pressure system made landfall, prompting several weather warnings in the region.
Environment Canada issued warnings for most of Vancouver Island, the southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley on Sunday.
The warnings are issued when there's a significant risk of damage due to wind.
Strong winds brought in by an intense Pacific low pressure system began moving across Vancouver Island and toward the mainland late Monday morning.
The agency forecasted strong southerly winds to precede the weather system, bringing southerly winds as strong as 90 km/h to Vancouver Island. The winds shifted to the west in the afternoon, and slowed to about 70 km/h.
In the Lower Mainland, coastal areas experienced winds of 70 to 80 km/h, easing in the afternoon as the low pressure system moved out of the region.
“For Metro Vancouver, especially along the water’s edge—places like Tsawwassen and South Surrey and along Georgia Strait—that’s where the strongest will occur,” said meteorologist Greg Pearce.
The wind warnings were lifted Monday evening.
The City of Vancouver also saw about 20 millimetres of rain Sunday and another 10 millimetres on Monday.
Environment Canada warned residents of affected areas that the winds could be strong enough to move loose objects and break tree branches.
The wind was also to blame for the cancellation and delay of several BC Ferries sailings Monday as the company ruled the weather would make it unsafe. The latest service notices and cancellation information is available on BC Ferries' website.
Another ferry, the Queen of Coquitlam, had to be taken out of service due to an unrelated mechanical issue. All sailings between Duke Point and Tsawwassen were cancelled up to 12:45 p.m.
Travellers were also advised to check with Harbour Air and airlines flying out of Vancouver International Airport in case of cancellations or delays.
As of 8:15 a.m., BC Hydro was dealing with five outages in the path of the storm, one of which was due to a tree falling on power lines in Surrey.
By the evening, there were 14 outages in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast and 13 on Vancouver Island, affecting a total of more than 4,300 people. The latest outages are posted online.
"We never know how much damage a storm will do or how long a power outage might last," BC Hydro's Mora Scott told CTV News.
"That's why we always encourage people to be prepared. They should have an emergency kit with things like a flashlight, extra batteries, fully charged cellphone, food, water and a first-aid kit."
She said crews are keeping a close eye on conditions and have extra staff on standby, ready to deploy to any outages caused by the storm.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Ben Miljure