Thousands lose power in parts of B.C. after high winds, heavy rains

VANCOUVER — BC Hydro says 80 per cent of customers who lost power during recent high winds and heavy rains have seen their electricity restored, though thousands still remain in the dark.

The utility says about 43,000 customers are still waiting for the lights to come back on, half of whom live in Surrey, which was particularly hard hit by Friday's storm.

BC Hydro says it was able to restore power for about 192,000 customers, the majority of the roughly 235,000 who were without electricity at the height of the storm.

It says most of the outages occurred when drought-damaged trees and branches toppled onto power lines on Friday, causing what it described as significant damage.

Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge and Vancouver were the regions hardest hit by the storm.

The company said in an earlier news release that the summer's long, dry spells weakened many trees, making them more susceptible to high winds and other severe weather.

Many of Friday's wind and rain warnings from Environment Canada were lifted as of Saturday, though the agency is still calling for an additional 10 to 20 millimetres of rainfall in the Fraser Valley by Saturday evening and up to 20 centimetres of snow in Manning-Skagit Valley by Sunday morning.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2023.

The Canadian Press