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Strong winds expected to batter Metro Vancouver Monday

A special weather statement is in effect for Metro Vancouver due to a fall storm expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain, and residents are being warned to brace for falling branches and potential power outages.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, winds of up to 70 km/h are forecasted to batter the region Monday.

"Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. High winds may result in power outages and fallen tree branches," the statement from the weather agency says.

Officials also say they expect between 10 and 20 millimetres of rain.

Because trees have not yet lost their leaves, ECCC says the impact of the fall storm will likely be significant.

"The heavy tree branches are more prone to break in strong winds and it may lead to more damage and power outages than subsequent wind storms of similar wind speeds later in the season," the weather agency says.

Matthew Coady of Davey Tree Expert Co. of Canada said the immediate concern is safety.

"Typically the ones that are gonna fall with this type of weather are going to be ones that are in not ideal conditions, so that already have stress or other factors that are impacting their health," he said.

"If you do have trees that are large and you see the trees moving, you know, excessively, stay indoors… number one thing is making sure that you protect yourself," he continued.

The fall storm comes after a summer marked by extreme weather, with a persistent drought and higher-than-average temperatures fuelling a record-breaking wildfire season.

Vancouver Island, the South Coast and South Fraser region are all under high streamflow advisories. This means river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas, however, is possible.

Much of the province is still classified as drought Level 5, meaning adverse impacts are almost certain.

There are currently 385 active wildfires burning in the province.

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