– Story by Jon Gauthier

Strong winds are hitting Vancouver Island and the South Coast today, leaving 53,000 people without power. 

BC Hydro says some of the hardest-hit areas include Courtenay, Surrey, and Maple Ridge.

Trees and branches brought down by the wind have caused extensive damage to the electrical system and more damage, as well as outages, are expected to continue until the wind dies down this afternoon. 

The company says all available BC Hydro crews and contractor crews will be out working to repair damaged power lines, poles, and transformers to restore the power.

 If you see a downed power line, you should stay at least 10 metres back and call 9-1-1 immediately. 

For up-to-date outage information, including restoration times, visit bchydro.com/outages.