Wind storm plays havoc with transportation on and off Vancouver Island


BC Ferries cancelled all daytime sailings due to a wind storm Monday, leaving all three routes between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland suspended including sailings to the Gulf Islands.

BC Ferries is expecting to resume service on the major routes by 7 p.m.

Deborah Marshall, executive director of public affairs with BC Ferries, said an 11 p.m. sailing out of Swartz Bay as well as a 1 a.m. sailing out of Tsawwassen have been added to the schedule, with winds expected to die down.

“Normally when we see these storms they blow through within say, three or four hours. But this one, unfortunately, is slow moving. And it is hanging around. So we are seeing some heavy weather out in the strait there.”

Flights in and out of Victoria’s harbour were also cancelled due to the wind storm.

The dangerous conditions are thanks to an historic so-called “bomb cyclone.”

This storm is different due to the length of time it’s sticking around, according to Armel Castellan, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“This storm is lasting well over 24 hours since it started yesterday morning. And it’s lasting well into the afternoon today so we’re talking about 30-36 hours of fairly strong winds,” said Castellan.

With winds gusting up to 100 kilometres an hour in areas, trees are vulnerable, like the one that came crashing down in Jack McNeill’s front yard.

“Came down in the middle of the night. I guess in one of those big gusts,” said McNeill.

The provincial government is warning coastal residents to be prepared for flooding in the aftermath of the storm. The forecast from Environment Canada: rain for much of the week.

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