Thousands lose power in parts of B.C. after high winds, heavy rains

VANCOUVER — High winds and heavy rain left thousands without power in parts of British Columbia.

BC Hydro's says at the peak of the outages more than 232,000 people were impacted after drought-damaged trees and branches came down on power lines during a windstorm Friday causing "significant damage."

As of 11:30 a.m. local time Saturday the utility said in a statement that about 85,000 customers were still without power, mostly in the Lower Mainland. The hardest hit areas are in Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge and Vancouver.

It says crews were hoping to have the majority of customers restored by the end of the day.

The company said in an earlier news release that the summer's long, dry spells weakened many trees, making them more susceptible to high winds and other severe weather.

Many of Friday's wind and rain warnings from Environment Canada were lifted as of Saturday, though the agency is still calling for an additional 10 to 20 millimetres of rainfall in the Fraser Valley by Saturday evening and up to 20 centimetres of snow in Manning — Skagit Valley by Sunday morning.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2023.

The Canadian Press