Major Windstorm Threatens Power Outages across Vancouver Island and Coastal B.C.


A significant fall storm is poised to sweep across Vancouver Island and coastal B.C., as formidable wind warnings come into effect. The alerts have been elevated on Sunday afternoon from a prior weather statement released on Friday.

Environment and Climate Change Canada warns that the weather onslaught could lead to property damage and widespread power outages across Vancouver Island, southern Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, the central coast, and the bustling heart of Metro Vancouver.

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The hurricane of fierce winds is predicted to be the fiercest at northern Vancouver Island and parts of the central coast adjacent to the Queen Charlotte Strait. Gusts propelling at speeds of 100 to 120 km/h are being forecasted with an expected resurgence come Monday night.

Meanwhile, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, wind intensity is predicted at 80 to 100 km/h, whereas the Greater Victoria area and the Sunshine Coast, ranging from Saltery Bay to Powell River, is foreseen to face slightly milder winds at 70 to 90 km/h near the water.

Metro Vancouver, while spared the wind warning, is in for a challenging Monday with winds expected to bombard the region from morning till night with gusts expected to reach upwards of 70 km/h near the water bodies.

This storm marks a significant turning point for the season, as the trees, heavy with full foliage, are more prone to damage, thereby increasing the chances of power outages. Since this is the first significant wind warning for the season, after a long dry spell, it is anticipated to seriously test the tree population.

Residents are being cautioned to secure loose objects and be wary of falling tree branches. They are also being urged to brace for the fall weather by ensuring flashlights and batteries are readily available and clearing any drains blocked by fallen leaves.

The onslaught of the storm has also triggered a rainfall warning for Howe Sound, with 25 to 65 millimetres of rain predicted to instigate potential flash floods and cause water pooling over roadways.

A high streamflow advisory has been issued, encompassing Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, and the Lower Mainland. Cumulative rainfall up to 100 mm in western Vancouver Island and the mountains is anticipated, while other areas should brace for 20 to 60 mm of rain.

Despite the imminent storm, officials confirmed that a repeat of the devastating 2021 floods is not in the offing. The advisory, however, urges caution near fast-flowing rivers and unstable river banks.

While this accruing storm has helped control wildfires like the Glen Lake blaze near Peachland, officials reason that more extended periods of heavy rainfall are needed to alleviate the drought conditions plaguing the province.

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