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Strong winds across B.C. leave tens of thousands without power

Cleaning up after the big storm
WATCH: A major cleanup took place across many parts of B.C. today, after a big windstorm blew through the province. John Hua reports.

Strong winds left thousands of BC Hydro customers without power on Tuesday night.

According to BC Hydro, about 31,000 customers were affected as of 7 a.m., with the largest outages in the Thompson-Shuswap as well as the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast.

A wind warning was issued for Metro Vancouver Tuesday night with gusts estimated to hit speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres an hour. The City of Vancouver is warning residents to watch for falling tree branches and other debris.

A hydro worker had a close call Tuesday night when a large tree fell and slammed into a parked BC Hydro truck near Bayswater Street and West 3rd Avenue. There are reports the worker was in the vehicle at the time but was able to climb out of his broken window to safety. He was not hurt.

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In the interior, people living near Nicola Lake fear more flooding is imminent as a wind warning is in effect for the area.

READ MORE: High winds, big waves could cause trouble along Okanagan Lake

Environment Canada warned a vigorous cold front would bring strong wind gusts of between 60 to 80 kilometres an hour Tuesday night.

Thunderstorms could also hit the Thompson-Shuswap and Okanagan regions with up to 10 millimetres of rain.

The winds, combined with high water levels, could cause increased waves. Shorelines and lakeside roads may be impacted.

With the ground already saturated, there is a heightened risk for downed trees.

The warnings come a day after many parts of B.C. set temperature records. In all, five temperature records were broken, including in Victoria, which broke a record set back in 1879.

– With files from Yuliya Talmazan