Cortes and Quadra Island are experiencing blackouts amid high winds that have knocked out power to BC Hydro customers across Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast.
According to notices posted on the BC Hydro website, outages are currently affecting two areas of Quadra Island.
A blackout covering an area southeast of the Quathiaski Cove ferry terminal began just after 11:30 a.m. and is affecting 83 customers, according to BC Hydro. A crew was expected to arrive by 2 p.m. and the cause of the outage is “under investigation,” according to the notice, which was updated shortly after 3 p.m..
The other power failure on Quadra Island began around 9:30 a.m., and it affects a large area roughly southeast of the Heriot Bay terminal with 130 customers, according to BC Hydro. It was caused by a tree down across hydro wires, and a crew has been assigned, according to the notice, which was updated around 3 p.m.
On Cortes Island, a power outage affecting 46 customers – also caused by a tree down across BC Hydro wires – began at around 11:30, and a crew is expected to arrive at about 4:15 p.m., according to a notice updated at 3:21 p.m. That blackout affects an area located northwest of the Whaletown terminal, and a crew is listed as being en route.
The power utility said on its website that “some specific estimates and restoration times will be difficult” until today’s wind storm dies down. BC Hydro also stated that “all available crews and resources will continue to work until all customers are restored.”
BC Ferries said on its website that cancelled sailings in the area included one 1:05 p.m. departure from Quadra to Cortes and a 1:50 p.m. return sailing.
A wind warning issued by Environment Canada on Thursday afternoon for eastern Vancouver Island indicated that “sustained southeast winds of 70 to 90 km/h” had already hit large coastal areas by the morning.
The warning stated that winds would switch to a southwesterly direction, also reaching 70-90 km/h, with gusts likely to exceed 100 km/h. Winds are expected to ease in the evening.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.