Dozens of scheduled sailings between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland have been cancelled by B.C. Ferries Sunday due to high winds.
“This isn’t a decision that we take lightly as know our customers rely on us to get to their destinations,” B.C. Ferries manager of corporate communications Astrid Chang told CBC News. “With safety being our No. 1 priority for our passengers and our crew, we’ve been watching the weather throughout the day and have made the decision to cancel some sailings.”
She said the multiple sailing cancellations are affecting some major routes including Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, Duke Point to Tsawwassen and Comox to Powell River.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ServiceNotice?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#ServiceNotice</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/HornbyIsland?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#HornbyIsland</a> – <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/DenmanIslandEast?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#DenmanIslandEast</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kahloke?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Kahloke</a> has cancelled the following sailings due to adverse weather conditions – high winds: <br><br>2pm, 3pm, & 4pm departing <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShingleSpit?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#ShingleSpit</a><br>2:40pm, 3:40, & 4:40pm departing <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/GravellyBay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#GravellyBay</a><br><br>Full details here: <a href=”https://t.co/FNENluHkrm”>https://t.co/FNENluHkrm</a> ^ka
“We’re also seeing some sailing cancellations on some of our minor routes as well and some modified schedules as a result of the weather conditions.”
She said sailings on the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay route are continuing to operate.
“Our customer care teams are actively reaching out to customers who had bookings on those cancelled sailings, refunding them and doing their best to help make alternate arrangements,” Chang said.
Wind warning issued for Sunday
Environment Canada issued wind warnings for much of Metro Vancouver, including Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, the Fraser Canyon and Greater Victoria on Sunday, as meteorologists expect southeasterly winds of 70 km/h and gusting to 90 km/h.
“We have a frontal system that is approaching the south coast of B.C.,” said meteorologist Gary Dickinson with Environment Canada. “And those strong winds will continue into tonight and leave sometime around midnight.”
He said the same system is bringing heavy amounts of snow to the Sea to Sky corridor with about 20 cm of snow accumulated in Squamish overnight Saturday.
“Whistler received 45 cm of snow last night as well,” he said, “and we’re looking at an additional 15 to 40 cm of snow for today and additional 15 cm tonight.”
A special weather statement has also been issued for areas including Allison Pass on Highway 3 near Manning Provincial Park, the Trans-Canada Highway, and Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass.
“The frontal system is trying to push the cold air back into the interior,” Dickinson said, “so as a result, it’s producing all the snow.”
Avalanche Canada says the risk of avalanches along the South Coast, including on Vancouver Island, is “very high” until Monday, and is warning against non-essential travel.
More than 2,200 customers were without power in the Lower Mainland by Sunday afternoon.
Nearly 10,000 customers in North Vancouver Island were also without power due to downed power lines as of 3:30 p.m., primarily in the Campbell River-Courtenay area.
B.C. Hydro said Sunday afternoon that customers in the Bamfield area on the west coast of Vancouver Island would not have their power restored Sunday night because crews were having trouble getting to the damaged power lines.
Simi Heer, spokesperson for B.C. Hydro, said the snow that rolled through the area was challenging crews and making conditions “tricky.”
“We know it can be quite challenging and frustrating not having power on a Sunday of a holiday weekend,” she said. “We thank customers for their patience. And I just want them to know that our crews are working as quickly as they can.”