Damaging winds, widespread power outages in Lower Mainland

Digital Writers
·1 min read
Damaging winds, widespread power outages in Lower Mainland
Damaging winds, widespread power outages in Lower Mainland

Parts of the Lower Mainland are seeing powerful wind gusts due to an intense Pacific cold front that will track through the region.

Early Sunday evening, Vancouver International Airport recorded a wind gust of 87 km/h. This is the strongest March gust the airport has recorded in nearly one decade since the March 12, 2012 windstorm.

In Vancouver, northwest winds will gust around 70 km/h, whereas regions along the shore could see gusts up to 90 km/h as the winds funnel through the Georgia Straight.

Vancouver, Richmond, and Tsawwassen over to Boundary Bay and White Rock are the areas that are facing the highest risk of power outages. As of 5:50 p.m. PST, over 70,000 BC Hydro customers were experiencing power outages.

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These regions will see an additional 10-20 mm of rainfall throughout Sunday evening, and the saturated ground presents a danger when paired with gusty winds. Sloped and forested areas may be unstable in these conditions, causing trees and branches to break away.

“Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break,” Environment Canada warns.

The winds will diminish through the overnight hours and calm conditions are expected on Monday.

Parts of the Interior are also seeing the potential for adverse weather with high elevation convective bands following the cold front. Between 15-25 cm of snow is expected for the Fraser Valley and coastal wind gusts intruding through the valleys into the Interior could generate local pockets of poor visibility and blowing snow.

Coquihalla Highway, Hope to Merritt Highway 3, and Hope to Princeton via Allison Pass will experience changing road conditions and motorists are advised to prepare for hazardous conditions.