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Wind storm wallops B.C.’s south coast, leading to power outages, ferry cancellations

Click to play video: 'South Coast wind storm' South Coast wind storm
WATCH: A lot of people spent the day assessing the damage from this morning's storm. Some homes and vehicles were hit by falling tree and a number of ferry sailings had to be cancelled. Grace Ke has more – Jan 21, 2018

All hands were on deck Sunday as heavy winds knocked out power for tens of thousands of BC Hydro customers.

At the peak of the storm, more than 69,000 BC Hydro customers lost power. The Sunshine Coast, parts of Vancouver Island and areas south of the Fraser River — including Surrey, Langley and Delta — appeared to have been hardest hit.

READ MORE: From surf’s up to smashed trees: southern B.C. windstorm in pictures

“The high winds did cause a number of trees to come down,” Tanya Fish of BC Hydro said. “Branches and trees fell onto our power lines, knocking power lines down as well as damage to our power poles.

“Crews do have a big job today.”

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Wind warnings remain in effect for the Sunshine Coast, Greater Victoria, and the Southern Gulf Islands. Wind warnings for Vancouver and  eastern Vancouver Island have ended.

READ MORE: Giant wave slams Tofino resort’s oceanfront amid gale warning for south Vancouver Island

Strong winds forced BC Ferries to cancel some sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay. The first two Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay sailings of the day were also cancelled.

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West Vancouver’s Park Royal Shopping Centre was closed due to a power outage. Power was restored in the afternoon.

Winds topped 100 kilometres per hour in some parts, and clocked in at a whopping 120 kilometres per hour on Saturna Island.

Port Moody Police said a female pedestrian was injured by falling tree branches in the area of Cecile Drive and Evergreen Drive.

Winds are expected to ease later in the day.

Other parts of the province were hit by heavy snowfall. A snowfall warning remains in place for the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt, which could see up to 30 centimetres of snow by Sunday night.

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The Mount Washington ski resort is closed due to heavy snowfall and the risk of an avalanche. Drivers are advised not to travel up the road to the resort.

— With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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