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Thousands without power, ferry sailings cancelled as strong winds hit Vancouver Island

BC Hydro crews work to repair damage on Vancouver Island following the major windstorm in December 2018. A new wind warning in the region has brought several other trees down on wires and buildings Saturday.
BC Hydro crews work to repair damage on Vancouver Island following the major windstorm in December 2018. A new wind warning in the region has brought several other trees down on wires and buildings Saturday. BC Hydro/File image

Close to 10,000 customers were left without power after high winds rocked Vancouver Island and other coastal sections of B.C. Saturday morning.

The outages were generally concentrated in the southern and central sections of the island, with Environment Canada reporting gusts up to 100 kilometres per hour.

READ MORE: Ferries cancelled, tens of thousands without power as frigid windstorm slams South Coast

BC Hydro reported several trees down across wires and buildings in areas including Courtenay, Langford, Duncan, Sidney and North Cowichan, along with other parts of Greater Victoria.

“Our crews are on site,” BC Hydro spokesperson Kevin Aquino said midday Saturday. “Crews have also been assigned, so we will be working throughout the day so that customers are restored as quickly and safely as possible.”

A wind warning for the region was issued Friday and predicted gusts up to 110 kilometres per hour for the central coast, including Bella Coola.

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The winds died off Saturday afternoon, by which time BC Hydro was able to restore power to the vast majority of customers.

By Saturday night, fewer than 400 customers were without power across the island.

READ MORE: BC Hydro says December windstorm was the most damaging in its history

BC Ferries was forced to cancel a number of late-morning and afternoon sailings due to the high winds, including service from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay.

Full information on the cancellations can be found on BC Ferries’ website.

There is also an outage in the Grandview Heights area of Surrey impacting about 2,500 customers.

BC Hydro says that is not wind related and power is expected be back on Saturday afternoon.

BC Hydro is telling customers to watch their outage list for the latest information on when power may be restored.