Thousands of BC Hydro customers in Northern B.C. are still without electricity after a major windstorm blew through last night.
Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says the Peace region was hit the hardest by the "extraordinarily windy, very strong Chinook."
Winds up to 115 kilometres per hour were recorded in Fort St. John, and 111 kilometers per hour in Dawson Creek, said Lundquist.
"A low pressure system tracked through northeastern Alberta, and just the combination of the deep low and the Chinook winds blowing off the Rockies resulted in that extraordinarily high wind speed overnight."
Lundquist says the worst of the storm has passed and wind speeds will continue to decrease throughout the day.
At the height of the storm around 10 p.m. PT Monday, about 22,000 customers were without electricity. By 9 a.m. PT about 16,000 customers were still without power, according to the BC Hydro website.
BC Hydro spokesperson Bob Gammar says the storm knocked down power lines across Northern B.C. in 150 locations, including as far west as Kitwanga, and all the way east to the Alberta border.
The utility expects power to be restored to most customers sometime between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. this afternoon, but Gammar says some people in outlying areas may be without power into early this evening.
The storm also knocked out power at a Blue Rodeo concert in Dawson Creek last night.
But several hundred fans got their money's worth when workers at the Encana Events Centre fired up generators, giving the band enough power to play a 100 minute acoustic concert.