While conditions were relatively calm Sunday morning in downtown Sidney, wind and rain associated with a major storm approaching Vancouver Island have intensified. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

While conditions were relatively calm Sunday morning in downtown Sidney, wind and rain associated with a major storm approaching Vancouver Island have intensified. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

UPDATE: Wind and rain intensifies across Greater Victoria as storm arrives

Almost 6,000 BC Hydro customers across southern Vancouver Island without power

Almost 6,000 residents of Greater Victoria are without power as a storm brings increased rain and wind to the region.

According to BC Hydro, some 5,747 residents were without power on southern Vancouver Island as of 1:13 p.m. Sunday afternoon, which seen increased wind and rain across the region.

The most affected region in Greater Victoria is the stretch running from Port Renfrew to Jordan facing westward with 533 customers affected. BC Hydro’s outage map also shows sizable power interruptions in the Shirley and Sooke areas. Other areas with outage include rural Saanich (Prospect Lake area), parts of Central Saanich and Sidney. More than 1,000 customers in Duncan are without power.

Worsening weather conditions are also impacting BC Ferries, which has announced cancellations for several routes, including the Swartz Bay-to-Tsawwassen route, for Monday morning. The cancellations announced late Sunday morning affect four sailings: 7 a.m. departing Swartz Bay; 7 a.m. departing Tsawwassan; 9 a.m. departing Swartz Bay; and 9 a.m. departing Tsawwassan.

BC Ferries cites high winds for the cancellation. “The safety of our passengers and crew is of primary importance to us,” reads a statement. “We don’t take the decision to cancel sailings lightly, as we know customers rely on us to get to their destinations. We will resume service as soon as it is safe to do so.”

As of 1:35 p.m. Sunday, BC Ferries has not yet cancelled sailings for its remaining Sunday schedule, but asks travellers to check service notices.

The notable turn in weather started at around 12:30 p.m. as winds (followed by rain) picked up. Environment Canada is asking residents to follow alerts as a major storm continues its march across Vancouver Island with a second major storm not far behind.

RELATED: ‘Potentially historic’ storm brewing off Vancouver Island should calm before landfall

READ MORE: Heavy rain expected this weekend over most of Vancouver Island

The latest alert issued 1:58 a.m. says easterly winds through the Juan de Fuca strait will strengthen overnight and reach 70 km/h by late Sunday morning as an intense low pressure centre approaches Vancouver Island.

“Winds will ease through Juan de Fuca Strait this afternoon but windy conditions will persist over areas near Haro Strait this evening through Monday afternoon,” it reads. “Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.”


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com