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B.C. South Coast weather causes power outages, ferry issues

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B.C. South Coast weather causes power outages, ferry issues
Thousands were left without power in B.C. after high winds and heavy rain pounded parts of the South Coast. Emily Lazatin reports – Oct 25, 2023

Thousands were left without power in B.C. after high winds and heavy rain pounded parts of the South Coast.

BC Hydro reported that at the peak of the winds overnight, more than 100,000 customers were without power. The hardest-hit areas were the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Crews are working to restore power, amid downed trees and power lines, for the roughly 26,000 customers who still did not have power as of 8 a.m. primarily in Duncan, Ladysmith, Maple Ridge and North Vancouver. Work will continue throughout the day, and BC Hydro hopes to have all impacted customers restored today.

A rainfall warning is in effect for Nanaimo, Duncan, Lantzville, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Shawnigan Lake and Malahat on Wednesday morning as well.

The strong winds made for a rough ride on a B.C. ferry, which was sailing through the Southern Gulf Islands.

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The Salish Eagle was held in active pass due to the choppy conditions. Passengers were told to stay seated during the sailing.

The ferry was unable to dock at Galiano Island and was rerouted to Tsawwassen.

An Environment Canada meteorologist said the first snowfall of the season seen in some coastal communities is due to cooler air and a low-pressure system.

On Tuesday, snow fell on Cypress Mountain, the Comox Valley and Nanaimo.

“We’ve had a big shift in the weather. Some cooler air has moved over the region and at the same time we have a low-pressure system that has developed off the coast of Vancouver Island bringing in moisture,” said Alyssa Charbonneau, an Environment Canada meteorologist.

“The cooler air combined with this moisture is resulting in some snowfall, particularly over higher elevations but in some areas where we’ve seen some heavy rain, things have cooled off enough that there are some wet flakes mixed in, particularly on the east side of Vancouver Island, even down to some lower elevations.”

Conditions aren’t great right now on the Coquihalla Highway, the Okanagan connector and Allison Pass.

A quick look at the Coquihalla Highway cameras shows an accumulation of snowfall at higher elevations.

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However, it is expected that conditions will improve throughout Wednesday.

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