It was billed as a possible knockout punch, but the third in a system of storms to hit B.C.’s south coast went out with more of a whimper than a bang.
Wind and rain warnings for the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver have now been lifted, and BC Hydro reports only about 2,000 customers in the Lower Mainland now without power.
While the third storm didn’t hit Metro Vancouver as hard as predicted, at its height it had 38,000 homes in the dark and led to the cancellation of many B.C. Ferry routes for much of the day.
B.C. Hydro spokesperson Simi Heer says the last customers without power can expect to have the lights back on by day’s end.
“The damage to the system wasn’t as extensive as we had expected, however, we were prepared and ready to go. We did have crews rested up and those crews worked throughout the night last night to restore power to customers who were impacted and we’re hoping to have power restored to the rest of our customers who are currently withouth it, today.”
Deborah Marshall with B.C. Ferries says the crown corporation added extra sailings between both Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay and Vancouver Island to clear up the backlog and that there are no delays or cancellations in effect.
The City of Vancouver says it got more than 250 calls about fallen trees yesterday.
It adds that aside from some fallen branches which have now been cleared there is no damage to Stanley Park, and the seawall has been reopened.
Storm three, which was fueled by remnants of Typhoon Songda, had been expected to deliver wind speeds of up to 100 km/h, battering Metro Vancouver.
However, the city was spared the brunt of the storm thanks to a slight change in the system’s direction.
Environment Canada says the storm made landfall on Vancouver Island near Bamfield around 7 pm, then tracked northeastward passing Port Alberni and hitting the Sunshine Coast.
It says the storm’s low was also quite compact, meaning the highest winds were kept to a tight area.
Pam Rocks in Howe Sound still saw wind speeds measured ad 111 km/h, winds in the Georgia Straight were measured at a peak of 109 km/h, and Victoria at 100 km/h.
Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver topped the region at 91 km/h, while the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal saw winds at 72 km/h.
While Saturday’s storm proved to be less powerful than expected, it has still been a damaging week for the region.
Much of that came from strong gusts that slammed Metro Vancouver Friday, at one point knocking out power to 75,000 homes and downing trees on several houses and cars.
That storm also proved fatal, after a tree collapsed near Clayton Heights Secondary in Surrey, killing a 15-year-old student.
In comparison, Saturday’s winds felt weak in comparison to many, prompting a good degree of social media ridicule.
However, it wasn’t a breeze for everyone. Several areas of Metro Vancouver saw punishing gusts, and cleanup work is still underway this morning.