British Columbia

Storm pounds B.C. and more wind on the way

As many as 50,000 people are still without power after a windstorm hammered southwestern B.C. on Monday, blowing down trees and knocking out power lines.

As many as 50,000 people are still without power after a windstorm hammered southwestern B.C. on Monday, blowing down trees and knocking out power lines.

At its peak, there were gusts of up to 115 km/h, leaving an estimated 190,000 people without power on Monday night.

Crews are still working to restore service in the worst hit areas on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast.

Ted Olynyk, who speaks for B.C. Hydro on Vancouver Island, told CBC News it may be Wednesday before power is restored in some areas.

There are also smaller outages in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley, which should be repaired by Tuesday evening, says Hydro.

But another storm is on the way, with more strong winds forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday.

The storm led to cancellations of ferry sailings and caused traffic jams in the Lower Mainland because traffic lights were not working in some areas after the power went out.

Stanley Park takes a pounding

In Stanley Park, falling trees prompted the temporary closure of the Stanley Park Causeway and Stanley Park Drive, which for a short time blocked access to the Lions Gate Bridge.

Some trails in the park are closed Tuesday morning and maintenance crews are asking park visitors to stick to the seawall because many trails are not safe for walking.

Eric Meagher, maintenance supervisor for Stanley Park, said the staff is concerned about branches or tree tops that are broken but have not yet fallen to the ground, which staff refer to as "hangers."

"Those could be broken limbs. They could be broken tops of trees that have somehow hung up in other limbs and boughs of other trees. Additional winds come along, it can shake those things out of the trees. So people should be very cautious when they go in the trails," he said.

On Tuesday morning, workers began combing the park, looking for loose branches that may be caught in the boughs of smaller trees and are in danger of falling onto trails. There are no plans to close the park, because it has so many access points.

Park board commissioner Allan De Genova said park staff are on the lookout for unsafe areas.

"In the areas that are sensitive, our staff are on top to make sure either we close that area, and we take those trees down, and/or we make sure they are going to be fine for another major wind," he said.

De Genova said the storms of recent weeks and the damage they have done add up to a costly autumn for the park.

now