Environment Canada issued a warning this morning that there would be strong winds hitting Metro Vancouver today as well as several other parts of the province, such as the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. Now, the high winds are causing thousands of power outages all across the province.
BC Hydro announced on their website that there are currently almost 200,000 BC residents affected by power outages due to the strong winds. According to Environment Canada, the winds are forecasted to be stronger than 100km/h. "Winds will switch to southwesterly 70 to 90 km/h early this afternoon, with stronger gusts likely above 100 km/h," announced Environment Canada on their website.
"Todays windstorm has caused outages across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley," announced BC Hydro. "While strong winds continue, crews will assess damage and make repairs where it can be done safely".
We're seeing a large number of #BCStorm outages across the #LowerMainland. If your outage isn't currently listed on our site, please check back in a few minutes as we're continually updating info as outage reports come in and it will take a few minutes for outages to populate.— BC Hydro (@bchydro) December 20, 2018
Currently, there are almost 100,000 people affected in the Lower Mainland and over 90,000 residents affected on Vancouver Island. So when can people expect to have their power back?
"Until the storm diminishes some specific estimates and restoration times will be difficult," announced BC Hydro. "All available crews and resources will continue to work until all customers are restored, we appreciate your patience and will continue to provide updates as available".
#BCHwy99 Tree down in the #StanleyPark Causeway has the road reduced to a single lane of traffic in each direction. Crews are on scene. Expect heavy delays and drive with care. #LionsGateBridgehttps://t.co/JcFIHZHjHr pic.twitter.com/oixoYwZL6u— Drive BC (@DriveBC) December 20, 2018
The winds are expected to continue into the afternoon, according to Environment Canada. However, there will be some relief in the evening as the wind shifts away from Metro Vancouver into the northwest.