Thousands without power, more than 20 ferry crossings canceled as storm crosses south coast of British Columbia – .

Thousands without power, more than 20 ferry crossings canceled as storm crosses south coast of British Columbia – .

Thousands of people are without power and ferry service between the mainland and Vancouver Island was canceled Monday as a strong windstorm hit British Columbia’s south coast.
More than 11,000 homes are without power due to the storm that hit Sunday night, according to BC Hydro. Over 7,000 of these families live on Vancouver Island, while 4,000 are spread across the Sunshine Coast.

“We are currently seeing a lot of distribution outages on the system, which means our teams can do just about anything, like removing branch lines, reconnecting cables, or doing a complete replacement of utility poles, depending on the situation. severity of damage. “Said spokesperson Kevin Aquino.

The outages were minimal in the Lower Mainland. Aquino said the heavy rains and strong winds did not materialize as expected in that region, but rather stopped after hitting the Sunshine Coast.

Meanwhile, BC Ferries has canceled nearly two dozen crossings due to wind warnings in effect in the southwestern corner of the province.

The cancellations mean that there is effectively no ferry service between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island on Monday morning.

Cancellations began at 5:15 a.m. on the Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay roads and at 6:15 a.m. on the Horseshoe Bay and Duke Point roads, as well as for the Comox and Powell River crossings.

Sailing to the Gulf Islands is also suspended until early afternoon.

“We don’t take the decision to cancel departures lightly because we know customers rely on us to get to their destinations. We will resume service as soon as it is safe, ”the company wrote in a statement, adding customers with reservations will be fully refunded.

Warnings remain in place

Environment Canada has renewed wind warnings for the coast of Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria, the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands and the greater Vancouver area.

Strong south-easterly winds with gusts up to 100 km / h over exposed areas of the island “will persist until early evening,” according to the agency.

Special weather reports are also in effect for central Vancouver Island and Howe Sound.

CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said winds should ease by Monday night, but people should be prepared for more power outages.

She said the windstorm is different from previous ones because of its duration – weather like this typically lasts a few hours, rather than spanning two days.

“These are not necessarily the strongest winds that we have seen on the south coast, because the center [of the storm] is still a long way off, but that’s the duration of this event. With this kind of relentlessness, we are always worried about weakened trees falling, ”she said.

Wagstaffe said a “weather bomb” hundreds of miles off the coast of British Columbia was responsible for the storm.

“It’s not a made-up term. This is what meteorologists have been observing all week: the center of a low pressure system rapidly deepened as it crossed the Pacific, ”she said, referring to a process called bombogenesis.

“It would be a very different story if it were much closer to us, but it’s a story for the history books… The footprint of climate change is on this one for sure. “

The British Columbia government has warned residents of areas expecting stormy weather to be wary of flooding.

The Canadian Coast Guard said the weather could pose a challenge for the recovery of containers that fell overboard from a ship near Victoria on Friday.


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