Power back on for 98 per cent of homes affected by B.C. windstorm, snow in forecast

Power back on for 98 per cent of homes affected by B.C. windstorm, snow in forecast
BC Hydro crews work to restore power in Oct. 2022.

The lights are back on in 98 per cent of the 330,000 homes affected by outages caused by a fierce windstorm that toppled trees and brought down power lines throughout British Columbia’s south coast on Friday night.

The BC Hydro website shows just under 11,000 customers were still without power as of 11 a.m. Sunday, with the majority located throughout the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast and the western Fraser Valley.

The Crown utility says crews have been working around the clock to replace dozens of spans of power line, hydro polls, transformers and other equipment damaged by the storm that produced gusts of wind up to 90 kilometres per hour in Vancouver.

READ ALSO: Repairs underway after wind storm downs trees and knocks out power for thousands

Across Vancouver Island, nearly 3,200 customers on the North Island and just under 650 on the South Island were without power just before noon Sunday, according to BC Hydro’s outage list.

A company spokesperson tells CHEK News that homes and businesses across Greater Victoria, Esquimalt especially, may experience 20-minute power outages today between noon and 4 p.m. as crews conduct repairs. They say work at the Esquimalt substation is necessary to ensure safe and reliable service.

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(BC Hydro’s power outages map, shortly after 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6.)

Meanwhile, Environment Canada has upgraded a series of special weather statements to snowfall warnings for parts of the southern and central Interior, including the Chilcotin, Fraser Canyon, Nicola, Similkameen, South Thompson, Okanagan and Boundary regions, where snow could persist through Monday.

READ ALSO: Environment Canada issues advisory, warns of possible snowfall on Vancouver Island Monday

A snowfall warning is also in effect for the Howe Sound region, which could see close to 10 centimetres before the snow is expected to mix with rain later on Sunday, while a warning issued for Metro Vancouver on Saturday has been lifted.

An Arctic outflow warning is in effect for central and north coasts, where Environment Canada says winds could gust up to 110 kilometres per hour and the wind chill could drop to as low as -20 Celsius as air moves south from the Arctic.

The weather office has also warned of snow along high-elevation stretches of several highways, including Highway 97 from Clinton to 100 Mile House, Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass as well as Hope to Princeton, the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Kamloops and the Okanagan Connector.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2022.

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