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UPDATED: Power restored to most after wind leaves thousands without power on Vancouver Island, including schools

Fall windstorm with winds up to 85 km/hour
The K’ak’ot’lats’i schoolbus was stranded by a fallen tree, which affected power lines and the Coal Harbour Road. (K’ak’ot’lats’i School image)

UPDATE: BC Hydro restores power to 96 per cent of customers impacted by Tuesday’s windstorm

BC Hydro crews made good progress yesterday and overnight, and have restored power to more than 192,000 customers across the province since the windstorm began Tuesday morning.

As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, about 4,700 Vancouver Island customers and about 7,700 B.C. customers total — primarily in Chilliwack and Duncan — remain without power. Crews will continue to work throughout the day to restore power to those customers still out.

About 370 outages occurred on the Island yesterday during the storm, affecting about 112,000 customers. About 176,000 B.C. customers in total were impacted.

Original story

Vancouver Island is being smacked by one of the first major major windstorms of the fall.

Almost 4,000 BC Hydro customers are without power on the North Island after an early morning windstorm with gusts as powerful as 83 kilometres per hour, according to Environment Canada.

BC Hydro has reported power outages in a number of northern and western Vancouver Island communities including Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Sointula, Holberg, Gold River, Tahsis and Zeballos, brought about by heavy winds. Crews have been assigned to all, and they are working through on priority sequence.

Heavy winds have resulted in fallen trees along south of Highway 28 and the highway is blocked along certain sections.

Trees down across power lines have resulted in power outages in Gold River affecting around 900 BC Hydro customers since 8 a.m. In Tahsis and Zeballos several power outages that has affected 700 customers was reported since 8:28 a.m. BC Hydro has dispatched crew to these areas.

The Coal Harbour outage was caused by a tree that feel over power lines on the Coal Harbour Road impacting just under 400 customers. The specific cause of the rest of the outages are under investigation.

School has been suspended for the day on the north Island, inlcuding School District 85 schools, Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw School, and K’ak’ot’lats’i School at Quatsino.

Strong winds and rain are also causing power outages around Greater Victoria.

On the Saanich Peninsula, more than 5,525 people are affected by outages south of McDonald Park Road, west of Third Street, north of the Patricia Bay Highway and East of Kittyhawk Road; along with north and west of Courser Drive; and north of Bazan Bay Road.

Another 220 people in Sidney are impacted by an outage west of Third Street, east of the Patricia Bay Highway, south of James White Boulevard and north of Orchard Avenue. The causes of these outages are under investigation, according to BC Hydro.

Moving south, an outage at Batu Road, just south-east of Bear Hill Road is affecting 25 people.

Additionally, an outage just west of Saanich Road and south of Stellys X-Road is affecting 273 people. According to BC Hydro, the cause of the outage is under investigation.

In Victoria, another outage east of Douglas Street, south of Topaz Avenue, west of Belmont Avenue and north of Bay Street is affecting 2,117 people.

Another outage north of Admirals Road, south of Cooper Lane is affecting 130 people. Crews are on-site and working to determine the cause of the outage. In the 800 to 900-block of Parklands Drive is also impacting residents in that area.

Windy and rainy weather caused problems in parts of the Cowichan Valley on Tuesday.

BC Hydro reported several outages across the region on Tuesday morning, impacting about 2,500 customers.

The largest outage effected most of the area around Shawnigan Lake, accounting for more than 2,200 of those customers

Other outages were reported in Cobble Hill, Cowichan Station, west of Duncan, and in Caycuse.

The first outage was reported at 8:44 a.m., and was expected to be restored by noon. Crews were dispatched to restore the rest of the outages as they were reported.

The Duncan Volunteer Fire Department was also called to a bridge on Marshall Road, near Zanatta Vineyards, where a tree had fallen across the road. The fire crew remained on scene until Emcon Services arrived to remove the tree.

A weather warning was issued for Environment Canada on Sunday with strong winds of up to 80km/h expected along sections of West Vancouver Island

An updated warning was issued today morning by Environment Canada with winds expected to ease early this evening as the low pressure moves into the interior.

A potent low pressure system continues moving from northern Vancouver Island onto the Sunshine coast and further inland today.

Southeast winds of 50 to 70 gusting to 90 km/h continue to blow over the Strait of Georgia and Sunshine Coast but will abruptly switch to westerlies near noon.

Elsewhere on Vancouver Island, winds have already switched to strong, gusty westerly or southwesterly 50 to 70 gusting to 90 km/h or higher.

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A BC Hydro power outage map shows several areas on Vancouver Island affected by power outages brought about by heavy winds which are expected to last till Tuesday evening.