British Columbia·STORM UPDATES

B.C. windstorm knocks out power, cancels ferries, closes schools

Powerful winds downed trees and power lines, closed schools and forced BC Ferries to cancel several sailings along the South Coast of B.C. on Thursday morning.

Power outages affecting some schools, including some in Surrey, Coquitlam and West Vancouver

A BC Hydro crew repairs a downed power line on Thursday morning in Metro Vancouver. (GP Mendoza/CBC)

Powerful winds downed trees and power lines, closed schools and forced BC Ferries to cancel several sailings along the South Coast of B.C. on Thursday morning.

At 10 a.m. PT BC Hydro was reporting about 110,000 customers on the Lower Mainland, including Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the Sunshine Coast were without power.

More than 10,000 customers were also without power on Vancouver Island during the height of the storm.

BC Hydro was reporting about 110,000 customers were without power on Thursday morning. (BC Hydro/Google Maps)

The power outages also knocked out power to several traffic lights, creating delays for morning commuters. Check with @CBCTraffic on Twitter for updates.

The winds began Wednesday night and appeared to have subsided by Thursday morning. But then a new wind warning issued at 6 a.m. PT said strong southerly winds with gusts up to 90 km/h were occurring over much of Metro Vancouver and the Western Fraser Valley this morning.

Exposed coastal sections of East Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast were also seeing southeast winds of 60 to 80 km/h as a deep low pressure centre moved north of Vancouver Island, according to Environment Canada.

Winds are expected to ease to southwest 40 gusting to 60 km/h later this morning.

DriveBC was reporting Highway 101 on the Sunshine Coast was closed by a fallen tree near Mercer Road at 8 a.m. A tree was also reported to be down on Highway 1 near 208 Street in Surrey.

BC Ferries was also reporting that the wind was delaying the departure of some sailings on the Duke Point-Tsawwassen route on Thursday morning.

Sailings on several shorter routes, including the Powell River-Comox and Campbell River-Quadra Island routes, were also cancelled because of the wind, early Thursday morning.

Harbour Air was reporting that some float plane traffic was affected by the winds.

School closures

The power outages have also cancelled classes at some schools, including some in Coquitlam, Surrey, Mission and Abbotsford and one in West Vancouver.

Parents are advised to check their district websites for more details.

In Surrey the closed schools included:

  • Elgin Park Secondary
  • Clayton Heights Secondary
  • Fraser Heights Secondary
  • Hazelgrove Elementary
  • Bothwell Elementary
  • Pacific Heights Elementary
  • Chantrell Creek Elementary
  • Prince Charles Elementary
  • Royal Heights Elementary
  • East Kensington Elementary
  • Coast Meridian Elementary

There are some other Surrey schools without power, but remain open, said a statement from the district.

In Abbotsford the following schools are closed for the day:

  • Ten Broeck Elementary
  • Clearbrook Elementary
  • Dr. R.Bondar Elementary
  • South Poplar Elementary.
  • King Elementary is also now closed; parents asked to come and pick up children if possible.

In Mission the following schools were closed:

  • Hillside Elementary School
  • Hatzic Elementary School
  • Hatzic Middle School
  • Riverside Technical College

The Coquitlam School District website said, "Power is currently out at some schools in the Mary Hill and North Port Coquitlam/Victoria Drive region.  We currently do not have an estimated time for the return of power.  All parents should ensure the care and safety of their children in getting them to school.

"All SD43 schools are open today and starting classes at regularly scheduled times until further specific school closure updates are made. As always, it is at the discretion of parents as to whether they send their children to school."

Collingwood School in West Vancouver was reporting that its Wentworth Campus would be closed until the power is restored. The Morven campus was operating normally.

High waters

The municipality of Delta reported localized flooding in the Boundary Bay Spruce Grove waterfront areas, where the tide was expected to peak around 6:16 a.m. PT.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a High Streamflow Advisory for Central Vancouver Island including the Somass River and smaller tributaries in the region.


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