WATCH: The biggest and most destructive storm to hit Vancouver Island in years has claimed at least one life. April Lawrence Reports.
Crews work to clear trees and restore power during wind storms that are blamed for the death of one person and has left thousands without power across Vancouver Island.
The storm has brought power to more than 143,000 customers on Vancouver Island, including all Ucluelet and Tofino, from 6:30 p.m. BC Hydro reported that there was a transfer circuit failure in Tofino and Ucluelet.
There are other power stations across Vancouver Island, with many reports of power lines down. At 4 p.m., this included 34,000 customers in Victoria, 36,000 in Nanaimo and 30,000 in Duncan.
BC Hydro said the wind storm had caused views across Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver and Fraser Valley. They also receive reports on reduced lines of power. The public is reminded to stay at least 10 meters back of power lines that have dropped and call 911 immediately.
"Extensive damage to branches and trees is infringing and coming into contact with DC Hydro electrical equipment. Strong strong winds have made a damage assessment and repairs are difficult, but where safe crews are busy repairing power lines, poles and damaged transformers. All available resources will be working throughout the day and night to secure power restoring, "said BC Hydro in the statement.
BC Coroners Service has confirmed that one death in Duncan is associated with a tree that fell during the wind.
Canada Environment has issued wind warnings for each area of Vancouver Island. The wind speed that is expected to range from 70 to 90 km / h, with a maximum of 100 km / h as the low pressure system passes.
Top winds have been updated as 1PM PST:
Sandheads (Tsawwassen North West) 121km / h
Tsawwassen Ferry Terminus 97km / h
YVR 73km / h
Airport Abbostford 101km / h
Pam Rocks (Howe Sound) 88km / h
Squamish 86km / h
The strongest winds are expected to continue until the end of the afternoon for the inner South Coast# Question
– ECCC British Columbia Weather (@ECCCWeatherBC) December 20, 2018
The storm has also affected the main routes of the BC Ferries. There were dozens of canceled tomorrow, afternoon and evening, including a sailing between Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay, Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen to Duke Point and Tsawwassen to the South Gulf Islands.
At 5:30 p.m., BC Ferries said that the service would resume its three main routes, including the 6 p.m. Ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen and 7 p.m. Ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay.
Already in the Alberni Valley, the Somass River has resulted in a local state of emergency in China First.
– Skye Ryan (@SkyeRyanCHEK) December 20, 2018
In Victoria, Butchart Gardens have confirmed that they have closed due to the high wind power and power stations. Once again at Victoria International Airport, the final building is on a contingent power. Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Spinnakers are closed all day. White Spot is open. Coffee, water and touch snacks have been placed around the terminal.
Nanaimo City has closed all parks and paths to further attention. The Oliver Woods Community Center, Beban Park Social Center, the complex of Bowen Park and the Nanaimo Water Center also closes due to power stations. Residents are asked to avoid travel, stay indoors and call 911 only if there is an emergency.
"The winds are expected to increase before dissolution later tonight. Stay indoors and avoid travel. City crews are working on clearing roads and we will provide up-to-date information as it is information becomes available, "said Karen Fry, Nanaimo Fire Chief Executive in a statement.
#Nanaimo: a number of roads have been closed due to reduced trees and power lines. Crews are working to clear. Avoid unnecessary travel and indoor stay. Find a list of closures here: https://t.co/EQsQDcRxkX #YCD #bcstorm @ 917CoastFM @ 1023TheWave @ 1069thewolf @CHEK_News @CTVNewsVI pic.twitter.com/bf0LYJOAmP
– City of Nanaimo (@ cityofnanaimo) December 21, 2018
There are several ways of closing roads due to fallen trees. Hydro and BC water crews work to remove the trees. Drivers are reminded to use a warning and use a four-way stop procedure on crossings where the outbuildings are.
Our maintenance crews work hard to clear trees / debris #VancouverIsland. Many sites are a challenge due to connection to power lines. In these cases crews must wait until @BCHydro Believe it safe to clear. Thank you for your patience. Photos: W Shawnigan Lake Road #bcstorm pic.twitter.com/SnB2x0ACs0
– BC Transportation (@TranBC) December 20, 2018
High winds cause power stations, including traffic lights, around #VancouverIsland a #LyfrydMainland. Treating these crossings as four ways stops, and takes turns. This explains more: https://t.co/53ad93rofi pic.twitter.com/lZWhrhgSC1
– BC Transportation (@TranBC) December 20, 2018
Dozens of trees across Highways 4 have left drivers stuck in the Port Alberni area. The hotel is full in the city.
– Skye Ryan (@SkyeRyanCHEK) December 21, 2018
Anyone in the Oceanside area that can not reach their destination can go to the Qualicum Beach Civic Center at 747 Jones St, Traeth Qualicum where Emergency Support Services are available.
According to Canada Environment, winds are expected to facilitate Thursday evening.
Here are some watermarks and storm videos
INFORMATION: Flooding in the banks of the Otter Point on December 20, 2018. (Tanya Garrioch)
– Eric Doherty (@ Eric_Doherty) December 20, 2018
Holy Christ thanks to God whose wind blows in the direction. Because that tree could have fallen on my house ?
Posted by Destani Dick on Thursday, December 20, 2018
INFORMATION: High Waves and Otter Wind (Tanya Garrioch)
KNOW: Snow arrives at Port McNeil during the widespread winter winter on December 20 (Gary Hall).
INFORMATION: Waves hit the shore at Point Sheringham Lighthouse in Shirley, BC. (Sheena)
INFORMATION: Trees fall on a house on Stoneridge Drive at View Royal. (Curtis Clarke).