VANCOUVER -- Environment Canada has issued wind warnings for Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria as a Pacific cold front the weather agency describes as "intense" moves across the South Coast.

The agency has also issued special weather statements for several regions of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland and a snowfall warning for mountain passes on Highway 3 and the Coquihalla Highway.

Northwest winds of 70 kilometres per hour were expected near the water late Sunday, Environment Canada said, adding that gusts up to 90 kilometres per hour were possible.

"Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur," the agency said. "High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break."

Several thousand customers lost power in West Vancouver and North Vancouver due to an issue at a BC Hydro substation, the electric company said in a statement. The company did not say whether the substation issue was wind-related.

There were, however, numerous outages across the Lower Mainland that BC Hydro described as the result of downed trees on wires.

More than 20,000 customers were without electricity in the Lower Mainland and on the Sunshine Coast Sunday afternoon, as were more than 2,000 customers on Vancouver Island, according to BC Hydro.

BC Ferries cancelled several sailings between Tsawwassen and Nanaimo's Duke Point ferry terminal as a result of the high winds.

The 3:15 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. departures in both directions on the route were cancelled, and the ferry service apologized to customers for the inconvenience.

"The safety of our passengers and crew is of primary importance to us," BC Ferries said in a statement. "We don’t take the decision to cancel sailings lightly, as we know customers rely on us to get to their destinations. We will resume service as soon as it is safe to do so."

Environment Canada said winds were expected to ease overnight, but not before bringing dangerous driving conditions to highways leading out of the Fraser Valley.

The spring snowstorm is expected to bring between 15 and 25 centimetres of precipitation to the high-elevation passes before tapering off Sunday evening, the weather agency said.