B.C. windstorm knocks out power to thousands on south coast

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Forecasts call for very strong southwesterly winds of 70 kilometers per hour, gusting to 90 km/h, but easing by Wednesday afternoon.

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High winds from an unseasonable storm knocked out power to thousands of people on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland.

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Environment Canada issued wind warnings for much of Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the southern Gulf Islands on Wednesday.

The forecast called for very strong southwesterly winds of 70 kilometers per hour, gusting to 90 km / h, but easing in the afternoon.

Special weather statements have also been issued for more than a dozen areas of southern British Columbia, including the Fraser Canyon, Nicola, Similkameen, Shuswap and East and West Columbia, where up to five centimeters of snow are planned.

The weather office says snow is expected to turn to rain later in the day, but warned driving conditions could be hazardous.

The Fraser Valley, much of Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound, inland Vancouver Island and areas around Whistler have been warned to expect 40 to 60 millimeters of rain .

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