Islands still recovering from Wednesday windstorm

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Thousands of households are still without power on Salt Spring and the other Gulf Islands following a windstorm that whipped through the south coast on Wednesday.

An Environment Canada weather warning for winds of up to 70 km/h and gusting to 90 km/h came to fruition, with power outages occurring largely when trees fell on power lines.

According to BC Hydro’s outage info website, some 2,500 customers on Salt Spring and a further 4,600 on Pender, Mayne, Saturna and Galiano islands are still without power as of 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Bc Hydro stated at the same time that it has brought in additional resources to restore power to the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, but “some customers may be without power for another night and potentially longer in some cases.” Hydro added that it had already restored power to more than 167,000 residents on the south coast.

At one point on Wednesday, some Beddis Road residents were cut off from the rest of Salt Spring Island due to trees across the road in two different areas. As of noon Thursday, one lane was open in the trouble spot to allow traffic to pass on Beddis, according to one area resident.

The Salt Spring fire department issued a statement on its Facebook page yesterday afternoon noting that “We are very busy trying to keep people at a safe distance from all the downed hydro-lines today. Please help us out by staying well back from any downed power line, and never, ever, apply water to a hydro fire!”

Bc Ferries cancelled the 10:50 a.m. sailing from Vesuvius and the 11:25 a.m. from Crofton due to adverse conditions on Wednesday, and schedules on that route and in the Southern Gulf islands were also affected by a lack of on-shore power.

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