BC Ferries extends cancellations between Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland
A wild windstorm and flooded terminal means BC Ferries sailings between Victoria and the Lower Mainland were cancelled into Thursday evening.
In anticipation of a severe storm, the company started its day by cancelling all sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay up to and including the 2 p.m. sailings. Later in the day, it cancelled its 3 p.m. sailings on the route.
But when the storm led to flooding at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, BC Ferries said it would have to cancel all sailings on its busiest route until at least 7 p.m. and possibly later. Other sailings to Tsawwassen, such as those from Duke Point, were also affected.
"It's been an extreme day at BC Ferries. We've cancelled over 80 sailings on 13 routes across the fleet, and we haven't seen a storm like this probably in about seven or eight years that has affected us in such a widespread manner," said BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall. "With the combination of the storm surge and the king tides, we are seeing localized flooding at our Tsawwassen terminal."
At 5:30 p.m., the company announced service would resume on the route starting with a 6 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, and then a 7 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay.
BC Ferries also added extra sailings Friday to accommodate delayed travellers during an already busy travel season.
All sailings between Tsawwassen and the Gulf Islands were cancelled through to the 12:10 p.m. sailing departing Otter Bay on Pender Island.
Sailings between Powell River-Comox and Powell River-Texada were also cancelled, as were sailings between Denman Island and Hornby Island.
On Vancouver Island, the ferry that crosses the Saanich Inlet between Mill Bay and Brentwood Bay was initally running as scheduled, but BC Ferries later cancelled all sailings for the day.
The Buckley Bay-Denman Island cable ferry and Campbell River-Quadra Island routes were also cancelled for the day.
MV Coho cancels sailing for first time in 22 years
It wasn't just BC Ferries cancelling sailings.
The MV Coho, which travels between Victoria and Port Angeles, Wash., was forced to cancel its 4 p.m. sailing. The company said it was the first time in 22 years weather had forced it to cancel a sailing.
The Clipper, which shuttles foot passengers between Victoria and Seattle, had also cancelled sailings for the day.
The cancellations came after Environment Canada issued sweeping wind warnings for all of Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Islands, and the rest of B.C.'s South Coast.
The agency said a low-pressure system was expected to make landfall near central Vancouver Island around noon, bringing with it the potential of winds up to 90 kilometres an hour.
Even stronger gusts might be seen over inland Vancouver Island including Port Alberni, Environment Canada said, while wind speeds on the North Island could reach up to 110 kilometres an hour.