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Thousands facing night without power as wind batters B.C.’s South Coast

Tens of thousands of people remain without power after winds battered B.C.’s South Coast on Friday and Saturday.

According to BC Hydro, more than 35,000 customers were affected as of Saturday afternoon by outages in the Lower Mainland, on the Sunshine Coast and on Vancouver Island.

BC Hydro spokesperson Kevin Aquino said the hardest-hit areas include Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands.

“BC Hydro crews have worked overnight and will continue throughout the day to restore power, but what we have noticed is that as crews restore power in some areas there have been outages in other locations,” Aquino said.

A BC Ferries vessel holds in dock at Horseshoe Bay on Saturday due to high winds.(Jon Hernandez/CBC)

The storm caused numerous BC Ferries sailing cancellations between Horseshoe Bay, northwest of Vancouver, and the Sunshine Coast, and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Hi there – we’ve resumed our regular schedule with the 3:45pm sailing from <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/HorseshoeBay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#HorseshoeBay</a> &amp; 3:20pm sailing from <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/DepartureBay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#DepartureBay</a>. For any changes or updates to travel, we’ll keep you informed on our Service Notices page here: <a href=”https://t.co/YemrfsxMPe”>https://t.co/YemrfsxMPe</a> ^rz

&mdash;@BCFerries

Barge toppled

The wind was so strong that a barge partially sank at Sewell’s Marina in Horseshoe Bay on Saturday morning.

Tess Baker said she was waiting for the ferry when she saw a “big cement barge carrying speed boats and zodiacs” tip over and sink.

Baker said it appeared that about nine boats have also been swept up onto the beach.

“It’s windier than I’ve ever seen it here in the harbour.”

A Sewell’s Marina barge capsized due to high winds causing several rental boats, used oil and fuel drums to go into the water.0:29

The Canadian Coast Guard said in an email that the barge capsized as a result of the storm. It said several several rental boats, used oil and fuel drums ended up in the water.

The agency said there is no visible sign of pollution, but marina staff can smell fuel.

If there is a visible sign of pollution, the marina along with nearby BC Ferries have pollution-response equipment available to be used.

The Coast Guard said it is also ready to assist if needed.

A tree rests on a power line in Deep Cove, B.C., after powerful winds blew through Metro Vancouver on Friday and Saturday.(Mike KilleenéCBC)

Meanwhile Aquino said hydro crews have been repairing damaged power lines, power poles and transformers.

Downed power lines should always be assumed to be live and are considered an emergency situation. If you come across one stay 10 metres away and call 911.

Wind and snow warnings are in effect for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, eastern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. Winds are expected to gust up to 90 kilometres per hour.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada says snow across the South Coast is possible, with up to 10 centimetres in places such as southern Vancouver Island.

While strong winds continue surging through coastal inlets, ingredients are lining up for the next snow event over the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SouthCoast?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SouthCoast</a> on Sunday. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCstorm?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BCstorm</a> <a href=”https://t.co/TaoZeu65cF”>https://t.co/TaoZeu65cF</a>

&mdash;@ECCCWeatherBC

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