As of 12 p.m. on Monday, thousands of BC Hydro customers on Vancouver Island were left without power after a bout of heavy, wet snowfall in the region.
The hardest hit areas are Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan, according to a statement from BC Hydro, and an alert has been issued for southern Vancouver Island.
At the time of the update, there were 5,600 customers in Victoria, 3,800 in Nanaimo, 6,800 on the Gulf Islands, and 13,700 in Duncan left without power.
A snowfall warning has been issued for Greater Victoria. The region could see snowfall accumulations of up to 5 cm at sea level and 15 cm at higher elevations this afternoon.
As of the time of publication, Victoria has 1 cm of snow accumulation, according to Environment Canada regional meteorologist Armel Castellan.
Precipitation—whether snow or rain—is expected to ease up by early evening as the Pacific low front moves to the east.
In the meantime, people in the region are advised to be cautious on the roads and patient with power outages.
“Snow adds weight to branches and trees. This results in them breaking and coming into contact with BC Hydro’s electrical equipment,” reads a statement from BC Hydro.
“Crews are busy repairing damaged power lines, power poles, and transformers.”
The utility company says crews will continue to work throughout the day and night, braving icy roads and low visibility to do so.
Residents in the area are reminded to stay at least 10 metres back and call 9-1-1 immediately if they see a downed power line.
A full list of outages and specific areas can be found on the BC Hydro website.