Heavy rains and strong winds in parts of British Columbia late Monday left thousands of households without power on Boxing Day, as Environment Canada warned more strong winds would hit the province in the evening.
BC Hydro says in a statement that at its peak around 2 a.m., the Christmas windstorm caused outages for some 28,000 customers on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland and the Gulf Islands.
Crews worked overnight to help restore power, but more than 10,000 households were still without power by late morning, including about 5,300 on Vancouver Island and 3,700 in Surrey and Langley.
The Crown corporation says the vast majority of customers are expected to have their power restored sometime on Tuesday.
BC Hydro says the wind caused falling trees and branches to knock down wires, and it is warning people to stay 10 metres back and dial 911 if they see a downed or damaged power line.
Environment Canada is advising people in the northern part of Vancouver Island and the central coast region of B.C. to brace for another round of “very strong winds” forecast for Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.
The agency says residents can expect to see southeast winds of 60 kilometres per hour, gusting to 120 kilometres per hour.
It says and loose objects could be whipped up by the gusty winds and cause injuries or property damage. The high winds could also lead to more fallen tree branches and power outages.
The strongest winds should subside by around noon Wednesday, Environment Canada said.
A flood watch the provincial River Forecast Centre issued Monday remained in effect on Tuesday.
Rising river levels created by Monday’s storm were expected to result in peak river flows on Tuesday into Wednesday, the advisory said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 26, 2023.