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Tens of thousands without power in aftermath of B.C. windstorm

WATCH:Cleanup underway in Vancouver after storm downs trees and power lines

Cleanup is underway across B.C.’s South Coast following one of the worst windstorms in recent memory.

BC Hydro crews are working to restore power and fix downed power lines across the region on Friday. More than 87,000 BC Hydro customers remained without power Friday night and some aren’t expected to get it back for days.

Several schools are closed Friday due to power outages.

WATCH: Windstorm leaves White Rock’s iconic pier in need of major repairs

Windstorm leaves White Rock’s iconic pier in need of major repairs
Windstorm leaves White Rock’s iconic pier in need of major repairs

Environment Canada says gusts topped 100 km/h just south of Vancouver and in parts of the Fraser Valley, making the storm more powerful than the 2006 gales that levelled a large section of Stanley Park.

The strongest gusts were recorded at the Sand Heads weather station southwest of the Vancouver International Airport, which reached 122 kilometres an hour.

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LISTEN: The famous White Rock Pier was extremely damaged after last night’s major storm. 

READ MORE: Man rescued from partially collapsed White Rock pier

A woman was killed by a falling tree in Duncan and a groundskeeper at Surrey’s Pacific Academy was rushed to hospital after a tree fell on top of him.

Crews were called to White Rock to conduct a rescue after a man became trapped on the city’s seaside pier.

Oren Perry, the man who was rescued, acknowledged he likely pushed things too far on Thursday.

He was storm-watching on the pier with his wife and young son when the waves started to grow in size. The other two headed back to shore but Perry lingered.

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WATCH: Chopper rescue of man off White Rock pier during storm

Chopper rescue of man off White Rock pier during storm
Chopper rescue of man off White Rock pier during storm

“The curiosity got the better of me and I ended up on the wrong side of the pier,” Perry told Global News.

“I guess stupid me wandered off to see further down and next thing I know, they were gone and the pier was gone with them.”

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White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker said the pier, waterfront area and promenade are shut down. He is asking the public to stay clear of the area.

“It’s not safe to be there, folks,” Walker said.

“I know people want to have a look around their community, but please respect the lines that are up, the barricades that are up. It is for your safety that we are asking this.”

WATCH: Crews work to restore power after powerful B.C. storm

B.C.’s South Coast digs out from windstorm
B.C.’s South Coast digs out from windstorm

Walker said it will likely take months to restore the pier. He didn’t have an estimate on how much repairs will cost but said they will likely go into the millions of dollars.

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East 12th Avenue in Vancouver remained closed near Fraser Street on Friday morning due to a fallen tree.

On Friday, the Vancouver Park Board said the Stanley Park Seawall, Stanley Park Christmas train, and Van Dusen Garden Festival of Lights have reopened.

The powerful winds also slammed into the Fraser Valley with gusts reaching up to 100 km/h. Two vehicles belonging to a couple in Mission were damaged by a downed tree.

A man is in hospital after a tree fell on his semi while driving in Pitt Meadows.

He was driving along Old Dewdney Trunk Road near the Pitt River Bridge when the tree came down during the height of the storm.  The truck went off the road and the driver had to be pulled from the cab. His injuries are described as serious.

Globalnews.ca coverage of the B.C. windstorm

Langley experienced strong winds and power was knocked out at the Langley Events Centre.

In Nanaimo, residents have been asked to conserve water as power outages have affected the city’s water treatment plant facility.

READ MORE: In pictures: Powerful December windstorm blasts B.C.’s south coast

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All wind warnings have been dropped and service is getting back to normal on BC Ferries routes after all sailings were cancelled Thursday.

The first sailings Friday were already full on most major routes, while power outages at smaller terminals was affecting those schedules.

— With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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