Damaging winds are expected to blow through British Columbia's South Coast Sunday night, and officials in several areas are asking people to prepare for power outages and ferry cancellations.
Environment Canada says an intense Pacific storm is making landfall on Vancouver Island tonight, where wind gusting at speeds of up to 100 km/h is expected.
A hurricane force wind warning is in effect for mariners off the west side of southern Vancouver Island, and gale warnings are in effect for ocean stretches off the northern half of the island up to Haida Gwaii.
The Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley will also see some of the strongest winds.
"The current forecast indicates that strong southeast winds of 60 to 90 km/h ahead of the low will shift to damaging westerly winds with gusts to 100 km/h in its wake," Environment Canada said in a release Sunday morning. "While there remains some uncertainty in the precise track, storms with this trajectory have resulted in significant wind damage in the past."
Firefighters in the Township of Langley sent out warnings on Twitter Sunday morning, asking residents to prepare for damaging winds, to have a plan for power outages and, in the event of an outage, not to leave candles unattended.
Ferries cancelled, rain warning issued
On Sunday morning, Deborah Marshall, spokeswoman for BC Ferries, urged anyone planning a ferry trip today to go sooner rather than later.
"It looks like the wind storm will hit [in the] late afternoon or early evening," she said. "We are advising customers wanting to travel between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, as well as Powell River and Comox and some of the Northern Gulf Islands, that they should travel earlier in the day to avoid the wind storm."
As of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, a number of ferry routes were making their final trips, with remaining sailings cancelled for the evening. Marshall said customers can expect Monday morning sailings to be busy because of the cancellations, so passengers should either make a reservation or plan to arrive early.
Environment Canada also said heavy rain is also expected across much of the region, with 50 to 80 millimetres falling across much of Howe Sound and Metro Vancouver.
Ferry route cancellations, as of 3:30 p.m. PT
- Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay: Most sailings cancelled except for 5 p.m. from Tsawwassen. Last ferry leaving Swartz Bay at 4 p.m.
- Tsawwassen and Southern Gulf Islands: Queen of Nanaimo sailings cancelled.
- Duke Point and Tsawwassen, final sailings at 3:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. from both terminals.
- Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay: 3:10 p.m. from Departure Bay and 3:10, 5:20 from Horseshoe Bay last to leave, remaining sailings cancelled.
- Powell River and Comox: all sailings cancelled.
- Cortes Island and Quadra Island: remaining sailings cancelled.