Published: Tue, December 25, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Vancouver recovering after powerful windstorm pummels Southern BC

Vancouver recovering after powerful windstorm pummels Southern BC

On the heels of Thursday's powerful windstorm that wreaked havoc across Vancouver Island, we're tracking yet another strong Pacific frontal system approaching B.C.'s coast.

On Saturday, about 66,000 people in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands remained without power. "Due to the extent of the damage, many customers will be without power throughout the day and for some customers it could be a couple of days".

Trees were blown over, boats drifted from their docks, and over 100,000 Vancouver Island residents were left without power.

In White Rock, the popular promenade remained completely closed off Friday for public safety.

In a statement issued Saturday, BC Hydro said it had called in crews from around B.C. and had more than 800 personnel in the field trying to clear downed trees and fix power lines felled in what it called "one of the most severe windstorms it has experienced in 20 years". One person who was trapped on the pier had to be rescued by helicopter.

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"I'm good - cold and wet", he told reporters back on solid ground. "I know people want to have a look around their community, but please respect the lines that are up, the barricades that are up". Gusts of 90-110 km/h are expected. Elsewhere, toppling trees and falling branches damaged parked cars, fences and farms.

As of 6 am on Friday morning, crews restored power to 400,000 customers since the windstorm began Thursday morning.

BC Ferries cancelled all sailings for several hours Thursday morning, there were multiple delays and cancellations at the Vancouver International Airport, while a fallen tree on track level and high winds caused multiple SkyTrain delays.

The company recommends passengers check the BC Ferries website before heading out to the terminal.

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