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Power restored to thousands after high winds knock out power across South Coast

Wednesday, November 27th 2019, 7:16 pm - More than 18,000 customers on North Shore affected for several hours; wind warnings announced for area

Power has been restored to thousands of residences in the Lower Mainland after high winds knocked out electricity overnight, though wind warnings are still in effect for a number of regions on the South Coast.

According to BC Hydro, customers on Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast, the North Shore and in the Tri-Cities area had outages overnight due to fallen trees and downed power lines.

The North Shore was hardest hit, with around 19,000 customers without power at the outage peak. Power had been restored to more than 10,000 people by midday.

A dozen elementary and high schools in North Vancouver opened later than usual due to the outage on Wednesday. Power was restored to all but two, Braemar Elementar and Dorothy Lynas Elementary, and those schools will be closed for the rest of the day.

cbc tree down BC Hydro crews work to clear a fallen tree in North Vancouver on Wednesday. Heavy winds the previous night knocked out power to thousands in the area. (Mike Killeen/CBC)

The utility dispatched a number crews to affected areas but has not given exact times for when power may be fully restored.

The outages began as gusting wind knocked down trees and branches, which brought down power lines and power poles overnight. Crews will need to re-string power lines and re-install power poles in order to restore electricity.

"Those repairs, unfortunately, do take some time," BC Hydro spokesperson Tanya Fish told CBC's The Early Edition on Wednesday morning.

Anyone who comes across a downed power line should stay back at least 10 metres and phone 911.

Police have warned motorists to drive carefully, with some traffic lights out and the potential for icy roads.

WATCH BELOW: RARE WIND EVENT CALLED 'THE BORA' STRUCK VANCOUVER ON WEDNESDAY

WIND, SNOW WARNINGS

Environment Canada has issued wind warnings for the Fraser Valley, Howe Sound, Greater Victoria and Southern Gulf Islands. Winds could reach 90 km/h in the central and western portions of the Valley as well as the southeast sections of Metro Vancouver, including Surrey and Langley.

Winds over Howe Sound, Greater Victoria and the Gulf Islands are gusting between 70 km/h and 90 km/h. The agency said damage to buildings is possible, particularly for roof shingles and windows.

Environment Canada is maintaining special weather statements from Metro Vancouver east to the central Rockies and north to the Peace region, as a blast of Arctic air plunges temperatures in the Interior to as low as –25 C.

CBC BC Two people on the seawall in Vancouver take a picture of snow on the North Shore mountains across the inlet during chilly temperatures on Tuesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The South Coast will be milder but the frigid air, along with winds packing gusts of up to 90 km/h, have created conditions that feel close to –10 C.

A storm also dumped as much as 15 centimetres of snow in the Chilcotin region. A snowfall warning is in effect for the area.

The weather office says the wind and snow will ease in all areas, although it warns the Arctic chill will hover and deepen over the province for the rest of the week.

With files from The Early Edition

This article was originally published by CBC News.

WATCH BELOW: DAMAGING WINDS CONTINUE FOR SOME, THEN CHILLY WEATHER LOCKS IN

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