Thousands of British Columbians are without power Saturday due to stormy weather.
B.C. Hydro spokesperson Susie Rieder said about 14,000 customers across the province have been affected by the outages.
“The outages that we’re seeing this morning are due to the inclement weather, and normally these outages are caused by trees hitting our infrastructure or power lines,” she said.
Rieder said particularly hard-hit areas include Vancouver Island, the Southern Interior and some spots in the Fraser Valley.
“Right now our crews are working around the clock to restore power as quickly as possible,” she said, adding it’s difficult to predict when power will be restored and how much damage the storm will cause.
She said every household should have an emergency kit equipped with a flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, water and food.
“We encourage everybody to be prepared,” said Rieder.
“If you do come across a downed line, always assume it’s live even if it’s not sparking, smoking or making a buzzing sound. Stay back at least 10 metres and call 911.”
Crews are on-site working to restore power for 2,946 customers near <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/DuncanBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#DuncanBC</a>. Check out our mobile site for updates at: <a href=”https://t.co/z3zT982wFV”>https://t.co/z3zT982wFV</a> <a href=”https://t.co/SZJwhWp8dj”>pic.twitter.com/SZJwhWp8dj</a>
A full and updated list of power outages can be found on B.C. Hydro’s outage list page.
Avalanche Canada is warning that heavy snowfall and strong wind are creating dangerous avalanche conditions in southern B.C.
“Avoiding avalanche terrain will be critical to managing your risk on Saturday. Stick to simple, low-angle slopes with no overhead hazard,” read the warning for B.C.’s south coast.
Drive B.C. has announced several highway closures due to avalanche work, including on the Kootenay Pass between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. PT Saturday afternoon.
Highway 1 between Golden Donald Upper Road and Ten Mile Hill Truck Stop Road will also be closed for avalanche control work on Sunday morning between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. PT.
More information on road closures can be found on the Drive B.C. Road Conditions and Events page.
Snowfall and winter storm warnings
Environment Canada has issued several weather alerts for much of South and Central B.C. this weekend.
Strong winds, heavy snow and rain are expected in many areas throughout Saturday until the evening.
Vancouver Island could see up to 100 millimetres of rain on the west coast, with winds of up to 110 km/h on the north coast.
Between 25 and 35 centimetres of snow is expected for Squamish, Whistler and the Sea-to-Sky corridor, while areas of the Central and North Coasts could see up to 40 centimetres, the weather agency said.
Environment Canada advised avoiding non-essential travel in these areas until conditions improve.