British Columbia

Power out, schools closed in Vancouver Island snow storm

Heavy snowfall across much of the South Coast created numerous power outages and had many schools declaring Monday a snow day across Vancouver Island.

Environment Canada says up to 15 cm of snow is expected in Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Nanaimo

Environmental workers Sean Mack and Sean Sugg surprised by snow 1:53

Heavy snowfall across much of Vancouver Island has many schools declaring Monday a snow day.

This was the scene on the Nanaimo Parkway just after 7:30 a.m. PT on Monday. (DriveBC)

Environment Canada has issued snowfall warnings for much of the island — including Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay and Nanaimo — where up to 15 centimetres is expected to fall.

The following schools have already announced closures due to weather conditions:

  • Cowichan Valley District 79 is closed
  • Gulf Islands District 64 is closed
  • Comox Valley District 71 is closed
  • Campbell River District 72 is closed
  • Nanaimo-Ladysmith District 68 (Pro-D day activities cancelled)
  • Qualicum District 69 is open, but bus service is cancelled
  • Discover Montessori campuses in Nanaimo and Parksville are closed
  • ​Vancouver Island University campuses are closed

Power outages caused by storm

As of 11 a.m. PT on Monday, nearly 18,000 BC Hydro customers on Vancouver Island were without power due to poor weather conditions.

BC Hydro spokeswoman Simi Heer said several full feeders and portions of feeders were out-of-service, and that workers trying to restore service were being slowed down by icy and snow-covered roads.

Some of the hardest hit communities included Campbell River, Courtenay, Duncan and North Cowichan, Nanaimo, the Highlands, Pender and Saturna Islands, and Port Alberni.

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      BC Hydro customers without power at 11 a.m.

      Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands

      • Nanaimo — 4,100​
      • Duncan — 5,400
      • Salt Spring Island — 4,000
      • Courtenay — 750
      • Victoria — 1,100​
      • Port Alberni — 483​
      • Campbell River — 450
      • Saturna Island — 500
      • Galiano Island — 780

      Heavy snowfall across much of the South Coast created numerous power outages across Vancouver Island and B.C.'s Lower Mainland. (BC Hydro outages website)

      BC Hydro said it expects to have most lights back on by 4 p.m. PT Monday, with the exception of Nanaimo. Power is not expected to be restored there until 11:30 p.m. PT.

      BC Hydro also said more power outages could occur later Monday, as there is a risk of tree branches bending and breaking under heavy snow loads, and coming down on power lines.

      Check BC Hydro's website for further updates.

      Gallery: Snow days descend on South Coast

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