B.C. windstorm that left thousands without power eases, but arctic outflow up next for Vancouver Island

B.C. windstorm that left thousands without power eases, but arctic outflow up next for Vancouver Island
A toppled tree blocks Somenos Road in Duncan following a powerful windstorm, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.

The majority of the roughly 50,000 BC Hydro customers who lost power on Vancouver Island during an overnight windstorm have had their power restored.

As of 7:15 a.m., only 2.756 homes and businesses were still without electricity on the South Island, and fewer than 20 were dealing with outages on the North Island.

BC Hydro said in an alert Monday night that crews would be working “around the clock” to repair damage and restore electricity, though it acknowledged some would be without power throughout the night.

The storm, which prompted Environment Canada warnings, hit hard late Monday, downing trees that toppled power lines and causing widespread power outages, with most of them on the South Island.

Wind speeds lived up to the warning, with gusts of up to 106 kilometres an hour recorded at the Sheringham Point weather station near Sooke overnight.

One resident in the area said the howling winds at times “sounded like a freight train.”

Environment Canada has since rescinded its wind warnings and special weather statements for Vancouver Island as wind majorly eased by Tuesday morning.

The weather agency is still forecasting southwest winds of 20 kilometres an hour Tuesday until the afternoon, with a high of 8C. But it’ll get unseasonably colder after that.

Environment Canada is forecasting that cold arctic outflow air will settle in on Vancouver Island on Wednesday through Friday. The Greater Victoria region is expected to see highs of no more than 2C for the next two days and overnight, temperatures will drop as low as -5 Thursday.

Thursday. According to Ken Dosanjh, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, the usual normals for this time of year are “usually highs of nine degrees and lows near plus two.”

This drop in temperature will be around eight to 10 degrees below the seasonal norm for the Victoria International Airport weather station. Additionally, there is a chance of flurries over the course of the week for the South Island, while further north, snow is in the forecast.

Live updates from BC Hydro:

Jeff LawrenceJeff Lawrence

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