Thousands left without power after high winds hit B.C. South Coast

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Power has been restored for nearly all of the BC Hydro customers on the South Coast and Vancouver Island who suffered outages Monday at the tail end of a rainy, windy overnight storm.

Nearly 20,000 customers were without power at one point as gusts of up to 100 km/h hit coastal areas of B.C.

Wind warnings were in effect for much of the day in Greater Victoria, which bore the brunt of a Pacific coastal front. Winds between 70 and 90 km/h were in the forecast for areas of southern Vancouver Island near the Juan de Fuca Strait.

At the Sand Pebbles Inn in Qualicum Beach, the wind caused heavy branches and an overhang in the parking area to collapse, crushing the roof of Todd Milligan's car.

CBC
CBC

Weather warnings for other parts of the island were lifted early Monday afternoon, though a special weather statement remains in effect for Metro Vancouver. Gusts sent a large tree crashing into Vancouver's Commercial Drive late Monday morning, downing a number of power lines as it went.

BC Ferries cancelled several early morning sailings between the mainland and Vancouver Island due to the weather. Normal ferry sailings have since resumed.

Simon Fraser University announced it was closing some buildings and cancelling some services due to the power outage.

Earlier wind warnings for western Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast were lifted before 10 a.m. PT.

The weather is expected to ease Monday except for Haida Gwaii and the North Coast, where high winds are expected to continue through Tuesday night.

Jim Mulleder/CBC
Jim Mulleder/CBC