VANCOUVER -- A powerful windstorm that swept across B.C.'s South Coast on Tuesday forced several ferry cancellations and cut power to tens of thousands of homes.

Environment Canada said the low-pressure system caused gusting winds of 90 km/h in some areas before noon, which sent trees and branches toppling onto electrical lines.

While a wind warning prompted by the storm had ended by the early afternoon, BC Hydro crews were still working to restore service to nearly 24,000 customers in the Lower Mainland alone.

Almost 20,000 customers remained without power on the north end of Vancouver Island as well.

BC Ferries cancelled a number of morning and afternoon sailings between the mainland, Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf islands as well, citing "extreme winds."

"Customers with reservations on cancelled sailings will be contacted via phone and email to advise of the cancellations and their reservations fees will be fully refunded," the company said on its website.

Several other areas of the province remain under winter storm and snowfall warnings, including Fort Nelson, where up to 25 centimetres of snow is expected to fall before the storm tapers off Wednesday.

"Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow," the snowfall warning reads.

For the latest updates on power outages, visit the BC Hydro website.