January 6, 2021 by The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER – Wind and rain warnings have been lifted from coastal British Columbia following a powerful storm that hammered Haida Gwaii, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast and cancelled sailings on most BC Ferry routes.
Gusts topping 130 km/h lashed parts of Haida Gwaii while winds packing hurricane force downed trees and cut electricity over north and western Vancouver Island.
More than 20,000 BC Hydro customers were without power at the height of the storm but the Crown utility says it has made good progress repairing the damage.
Just over 5,000 customers remained in the dark early Wednesday, many in rural areas that crews could not reach overnight, but the BC Hydro website shows teams have been assigned to make repairs.
BC Ferries sailings were getting back on schedule after cancellations halted travel for most of Tuesday, but torrential rain that accompanied the wind on Vancouver Island has caused localized flooding and an evacuation alert remains in effect for the Cowichan Bay area near Duncan.
Although conditions have eased in coastal areas, a snowfall warning is posted for Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass in southeastern B.C., as Environment Canada predicts up to 20 centimetres of snow through the day.
Feature image: Waves pound Ogden Point breakwater as strong wind warnings are issued by Environment Canada along the south coast as a frontal system pushes across Vancouver Island during the first major storm of the year in Victoria, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito