Vancouver Island windstorm: Widespread power outages reported as winds expected to reach 120km/h
Thousands of BC Hydro customers on Vancouver Island and the B.C. Gulf Islands were without power Thursday as a windstorm wreaked havoc across the region.
Approximately 400 residents and businesses between Coal Harbour and Port Hardy, on northern Vancouver Island, lost power due to trees down across hydro lines early Thursday morning.
To the east, more than 1,200 residents of Alert Bay and Sointula lost hydro service just before 9 a.m.
Hundreds more in Port McNeill and Qualicum Beach lost electricity after 10 a.m.
A substation failure cut power to more than 1,000 residents from Port Renfrew to Sooke before 11 a.m., while an outage in the Sooke-Metchosin area left 1,500 customers in the dark shortly after noon.
Environment Canada says southeast winds are expected to reach gusts of 120 km/h on the North Island and Haida Gwaii through to Friday morning.
Exposed coastal areas are especially at risk of damage caused by downed trees and debris.
Eastern and western Vancouver Island are also under wind warnings Thursday as an "intense low-pressure system" moves through the region.
The Greater Victoria area will remain largely protected from the worst of the windstorm, though strong gusts are still expected along coastal areas.