The number of power outages is rising as Storm #2 hits the south coast with damaging winds.
More than 53,000 customers are now without power on the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast, with problems reported primarily in Surrey and the Fraser Valley, though several thousand are also in the dark in Vancouver.
There are about 23,00 customers without electricity on Vancouver Island, considerably lower than the peak of 10,000 overnight.
BC Hydro says it has more than 100 power line technicians working to restore power, but some homes may be in the dark overnight.
The wind has begun to have an impact on B.C. Ferry routes, with all sailings to the Southern Gulf Island now cancelled for the remainder of the day.
BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall says conditions are improving on other routes.
“In the south coast, the wind is staring to die down, so we are going to be resuming service between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay [Victoria], as well as Tsawwassen and Duke Point [Nanaimo].”
Several TransLink bus detours are also in place due to storm debris, including a downed tree on trolley lines affecting service to the Cambie Bridge.
BC Housing has also activated its Extreme Weather Response, opening emergency shelters nearly a month early.
Vandusen Gardens and the North Point of Canada Place in Vancouver are now closed for the remainder of the day, and the Corporation of Delta has also closed Ladner Harbour Park and Fred Gingell Park to pedestrians.
Warnings in effect
While the rain will continue during this storm, Environment Canada says the winds are the bigger issue – with gusts of up to 100 km/h measured south of Tofino.
A wind warning remains in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley including Abbotsford, with winds from the southeast increasing to 80 km/h this afternoon.
Environment Canada says the winds will be strong enough to cause injury or damage from loose objects tossed by the gusts, and warns tree branches may also break and fall.
That may be exactly what happened in Surrey, where a 15-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after reportedly being hit by a falling tree.
Global BC Meteorologist Kristi Gordon says some of the punch is wind that was expected last night.
“What we’re seeing is the wind we were expecting last night, or ahead of the storm… now the actual storm itself is starting to cross the lower mainland. And with that, we tend to get strong gusts, and it looks like parts of the Lower Mainland are starting to get hit. I just had a report of the Southern Gulf Islands seeing gusts of over 100 km/h.”
This storm should start to ease this afternoon, with the third and most powerful to hit later on Saturday powered by remnants of Typhoon Songda.
A high streamflow advisory from the River Forecast Centre also remains in effect for the North Shore mountains, Fraser Valley, and Howe Sound area, with heavy rains expected to swell rivers and creeks.
AM 730 Traffic’s Niki Reitmayer also reminds those on the roads to take extra precautions in the nasty weather.
“The most important thing that drivers can remember is to make sure that their headlights are turned on. And, if you are driving about, and people come across any uncontrolled intersections, make sure that you’re using the four-way stop procedure.”
For all the latest CKNW storm coverage, as well as a list of other sites useful in the event of an outage, click here.