Stanley Park closed, ferries cancelled due to high winds
VANCOUVER - Stanley Park has been closed to the public, and sailings on two major BC Ferries routes have been cancelled because of high winds.
Environment Canada has issued wind warnings for several regions across B.C., including Metro Vancouver. Wind gusts had the potential to reach up to 90 km/h in some regions closer to the water.
As of 3 p.m., there were more than 14,000 B.C. Hydro customers without power in the Lower Mainland and on the Sunshine Coast. That number has since gone down with 750 customers without power as of 7:30 p.m.
The Vancouver Park Board has also closed the seawall because of the high winds, as well as the McCleery Golf Course. The seawall gates are closed at the Lion's Gate Bridge and Third Beach. Stanley Park will remain closed Friday, and the park board will provide an update Saturday morning.
BC Ferries cancelled the 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. The 1 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay was also cancelled.
A large tree branch fell on the road in Vancouver's West End near Burnaby and Nicola Streets, and the Vancouver Park Board has also warned people to avoid large trees since branches could break and fall. The Ghost Train in Stanley Park has also been closed because of the wind warning and will reopen Saturday morning at 11 a.m.
VanDusen Garden has also been closed but is expected to reopen at 5 p.m. for the Glow in the Garden event.
Some people decided to take advantage of the windy weather, including some kite surfers in English Bay.
"It was gnarly today. It's really, really windy," said kite surfer James Burden. "I ended up with an equipment failure, a broken line, so I had to come in. I had trouble getting out. There's some really big waves."
Environment Canada says the strong winds will continue this afternoon but are expected to ease into the evening.
Special weather statements were also issued for the Fraser Valley and most of the Okanagan.