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Snowfall warnings span B.C.’s southern Interior, power mostly back on after storm

10 to 15 cm expected in Interior communities, potential for more along mountain passes

Environment Canada has issued a series of snowfall warnings spanning much of British Columbia’s southern Interior along with the east coast of Vancouver Island, as crews work to restore power to the last few thousand homes affected by a powerful windstorm Friday night.

The agency says stretches of several highways throughout the Interior could see significant snowfall before it gradually eases and moves south Monday.

Those routes include Highway 97 from Clinton to 100 Mile House, Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass, as well as Hope to Princeton, the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Kamloops, and the Okanagan Connector.

The weather office says 10 to 15 centimetres are expected in communities throughout the Fraser Canyon, Okanagan, South Thompson, Nicola and Similkameen regions, including Kelowna, Lytton, Lillooet and 100 Mile House.

It says there’s also potential for snow to accumulate along the east coast of Vancouver Island between Duncan and Nanaimo before clearing up Tuesday.

Meanwhile, BC Hydro says the lights were back on for 98 per cent of the 330,000 customers affected by a windstorm along the south coast Friday night, but crews continued working to restore power for about 7,000 heading into Sunday evening.

The Crown utility says crews have been working around the clock to replace dozens of spans of power line, hydro polls, transformers and other equipment damaged by the storm that produced gusts of wind up to 90 kilometres per hour in Vancouver.

A snowfall warning has been replaced with a wind warning in the Howe Sound region, where Environment Canada says gusts could reach that speed again.

An Arctic outflow warning is also in effect for central and north coasts, where the weather office says winds could gust up to 110 kilometres per hour and the wind chill could drop to as low as -20 C as air moves south from the Arctic.

The Canadian Press

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