Crews work to restore power as wind and rain pummel much of B.C.

A blustery Jericho Beach in Vancouver in November 2020.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A blustery Jericho Beach in Vancouver in November 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

More than 2,400 customers in B.C. remain without power as of 8:45 p.m. PT Thursday, as Environment Canada issued several warnings for strong southeast winds gusting up to 80 km/h across much of the province.

Highway 1 through Coquitlam re-opened shortly before 3 p.m., after drivers were told to expect delays as B.C. Hydro completed repairs to power lines that came down during strong winds.

The weather agency warned a "vigorous frontal system" could cause tree branches to fall, disrupt power and cause other damage.

Advisories were in effect for the Lower Mainland, the south and central coasts, east Vancouver Island, and several areas of the Interior and central and northern B.C. including the Pine Pass, Fraser Canyon, and the Coquihalla Highway.

Some communities to be without power overnight: B.C. Hydro

B.C. Hydro said power has been restored to more than 90,000 customers, after the strong winds and rain left 100,000 customers without power.

The utility says Thursday night that it expects 100 customers in Prince George and around 1,600 customers between Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, and Fort St. James to be without power overnight. Additional crews are arriving Friday morning to help with restoration efforts.

Downed line on Hwy 1

Crews worked to repair a downed power line on Highway 1 near Brunette Avenue in Coquitlam. The highway was completely closed for a brief time Thursday afternoon in order to allow crews to safely do their work.

After it re-opened, drivers were warned to expect delays as the heavy congestion cleared.

 

The utility warns anybody who sees a downed power line to call 911 and stay at least 10 metres back.

Heavy rain on coast

Rainfall warnings were also in effect for the central and north coasts, Howe Sound and Metro Vancouver, where as much as 70 millimetres could fall.

"Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. If visibility is reduced while driving, turn on your lights and maintain a safe following distance," Environment Canada wrote in the alert.

The province issued a statement Tuesday urging people across B.C. to prepare for stormy weather.

Residents were advised to prepare an emergency kit and familiarize themselves with their local government's response plan.