Wind warnings, high tides advisories issued for parts of Island

Wind warnings, high tides advisories issued for parts of Island
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority closed the Breakwater due to the storm on Jan. 9, 2024.

Parts of Vancouver Island are being warned of strong wind and high tides on Tuesday by Environment Canada.

Greater Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands and West Vancouver Island have been issued a warning for very strong winds, while the high tides special weather statement covers Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands.

For Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands, Environment Canada is warning of westerly winds of 70 km/h gusting to 90. The winds will fall below the warning criteria by the afternoon.

West Vancouver Island is being warned of very strong winds of 80 km/h gusting to 100 in the morning and through the day. The winds will ease below the warning criteria by early in the evening.

“High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break,” the notice says. “High winds may result in power outages and fallen tree branches.”

By 3:47 p.m., BC Hydro was already dealing with a number of power outages across the Island.

On South Vancouver Island there were 4,290 customers without power, and 468 on the North Island.

Three schools in the Sooke School District are closed due to power outages, the district announced on Twitter.

At John Muir Elementary and Sooke Elementary, parents of students who attend that school are being asked to keep their kids home and there will be no regularly scheduled classes. However, the school will stay open for families who do not have alternate arrangements.

Sooke Elementary reopened shortly before 11 a.m., but at the same time the school district was informed power would not be restored to John Muir Elementary until 5 p.m., so the school was closed for the day.

Port Renfrew Elementary has a full closure and there is no access to the building.

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BC Ferries had also made the decision to cancel four morning sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay due to the strong winds.

Additionally, two sailings have been cancelled between Duke Point and Tsawwassen. Due to a crew shortage, six sailings between Mill Bay and Brentwood Bay have also been cancelled. Sailings between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay will resume at 11 a.m.

Highway 14 was closed in both directions between West Coast Road and Kemp Lake Road due to a tree on the road and downed power lines, according to Drive BC. The road then reopened around 2:45 p.m.

At 11:35 a.m., the District of Sooke said Whiffin Spit would close due to the storm.

At 10:30 a.m., the City of Colwood announced Ocean Boulevard, which is the road on the Esquimalt Lagoon, will be closed at Fort Rodd Hill and Lagoon Road. Residents are asked to avoid the Lagoon Beach until the tide recedes.

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At 10:15 a.m., the District of Oak Bay announced that Beach Drive from St. Patrick to Monterey is closed due to the heavy rainfall and high tide, then it reopened at 3 p.m.

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The high tide special weather statement is expected to take place this morning for the shorelines along the Strait of Juan de Fuca including Sooke, Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands.

“Large waves due to gale-force southwest winds, storm surge and seasonably high tides have the potential to produce high water levels for today,” the notice says. “Coastal flooding is possible along exposed shorelines, especially in low-lying areas.”

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) says the Ogden Point Breakwater’s upper and lower pathways are closed Tuesday due to current and forecasted weather conditions.

“GVHA will continue to monitor conditions and reopen the Breakwater when it is safe,” it said in a notice.

This latest storm comes the day after the Island was battered by a winter storm that saw snow and strong winds for parts of the Island throughout Monday.

READ PREVIOUS: Some Island residents see snow Monday; everyone will be frigid by Friday

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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