Windstorm knocks out power to thousands in Lower Mainland, leads to ferry cancellations
VANCOUVER -- Thousands of people in the Lower Mainland woke up in the dark Wednesday morning after a powerful windstorm swept the South Coast.
Wind gusts of up to 70 km/h toppled trees and downed power lines.
At the peak of the storm, more than 100,000 BC Hydro customers were without power.
The Fraser Valley took the brunt of the storm, with areas of Abbotsford, Surrey and Langley reaching nearly 10,000 outages each.
The South Surrey, White Rock area continued to see intense winds Wednesday morning.
High tide, combined with powerful gusts, sent massive waves crashing over the White Rock Pier.
Joggers and walkers seemed undeterred by the stormy weather, venturing to the end of the walkway despite the storm.
The pier was severed in half during a windstorm in December 2018 and has since undergone extensive repairs and upgrades.
Meanwhile, large portions of Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood were in complete blackout for hours.
Broken tree branches and other debris left behind from the storm created hazards for drivers.
Downtown Vancouver, the North Shore and Burnaby were not spared either.
The outages leading to dead street lights at many major intersections.
Drivers are being reminded to use the four-way stop procedure when the lights are out.
BC Hydro crews worked through the night to restore power, but some customers could be waiting well into the afternoon.
"More outages are expected as a result of the wind. All available resources will continue to work throughout the day to safely restore power," wrote BC Hydro in a release.
BC Hydro says it's also receiving many reports of downed power lines.
It’s asking anyone who sees one to stay at least 10 metres back and call 911 immediately.
“BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ patience as repair work continues and will provide updated estimates for power restoration as they become available,” wrote the company.
In Vancouver, strong winds paired with a king tide prompted the closure of a section of the seawall in Stanley Park. The park board posted to Twitter at about 9:30 a.m. saying the seaside route was closed between Lions Gate Bridge and Third Beach.
"We also advise the public to avoid paths along the shore between Jericho/Spanish Banks to Vanier and Vanier to Stanley Park," the post said. "Our teams are working hard to clear the debris."
Jericho Pier was also closed due to high water, strong waves and impact from floating debris. The park board said it'll only reopen the pier after it's been inspected.
The windy conditions also forced the cancellation of several early morning sailings between Tsawwassen and Duke Point.