British Columbia

Power outages, sailing cancellations as high winds hit south coast

A number of BC Ferries sailings have been cancelled, and thousands of people are without power as a result of heavy winds on Saturday.

BC Hydro crews are currently working to restore power to customers

The wind is expected to subside in the late afternoon. (Yvette Brend/CBC)

A number of BC Ferries sailings have been cancelled, and thousands of people are without power as a result of heavy winds on Saturday.

At one point on Saturday morning, nearly 9,000 people were without power, mostly on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. More than 2,000 people were still in the dark at 5:00 p.m. PT. 

Crews are currently working to restore power in areas where falling trees damaged infrastructure.

Kevin Aquino with BC Hydro said that though they expect further outages, there is some good news in the forecast.

"With weather events like this what typically happens is that once our crews restore [power] in one area we could see a power outage pop online in another area — what's really good for the forecast right now is we know winds are going to be subsiding so we know that restoration times are going to improve," he said.

BC Ferries routes between Crofton and Saltspring Island, Comox and Powell River, Powell River and Texada, and Cortes Island and Quadra Island all experienced cancellations on Saturday as a result of the wind.

According to BC Hydro, the power outages on Quadra Island and Cortes Island may last overnight, as ferries to the islands were cancelled for the majority of the day.

BC Ferries spokesperson Astrid Braunschmidt said sailings between Campbell River and Quadra Island resumed at 2:30 p.m. PT Saturday. She said the final sailing between Quadra Island and Cortes Island at 6:45 p.m. PT will run as scheduled because weather conditions have improved.

Wind warnings remain in effect for the central coast, east, west, and north Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast.

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