A dedicated storm watcher makes her way to the beach at Goose Spit in Comox Tuesday morning as wind gusts measured than 70 km/h in the area. Photo by Erin Haluschak

A dedicated storm watcher makes her way to the beach at Goose Spit in Comox Tuesday morning as wind gusts measured than 70 km/h in the area. Photo by Erin Haluschak

VIDEO: Early winter wind and rain smacks Vancouver Island

A series of strong storms is making a soggy start for many on the Island in 2021

Rain, wind and more rain.

That’s been the meteorological start to 2021 in many parts of Vancouver Island, and on Tuesday (Jan. 5), Mother Nature showed her true force.

With gusts measuring 73 km/h at the Comox weather station, Environment Canada issued a weather warning for the area for strong winds that may cause damage. A frontal system pushing across the Island is generating strong southeast winds across the inner South Coast from Victoria to Campbell River.

The strong winds are expected over exposed coastal sections near the Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait and the southern Gulf Islands.

Five days into the year, the area has received more than 60mm of rain.

As of 1 p.m., around 9,000 BC Hydro customers on the north Island lost power and outages affected more than 6,100 customers on the south Island. Due to ferry cancellations, BC Hydro noted the power on Quadra and Cortes islands will not be able to be restored until Jan. 6.

The West Coast of the Island was expecting t be hit particularly hard. Winds up to 100 km/h were expected and Environment Canada was also expecting over 100 mm of rain to soak the region on Tuesday.

“Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring. Southeast winds of 80 to 100 km/h are occurring over West Vancouver Island today. Strong winds developed this morning ahead of a frontal system pushing across Vancouver Island. The winds will ease this evening with the passage of the front,” an Environment Canada weather update issued early Tuesday afternoon states.

BC Ferries took a proactive step on Jan.4 and cancelled sailings in anticipation of the storm. Late Monday, the corporation cancelled sailings between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay from 10:40 a.m. until 5:55 p.m on Jan. 5 due to “high winds and sea state.” On Tuesday, more sailings were cancelled from Duke Point to Tsawwassen. The Comox-Powell River sailings have been cancelled until at least 5:15 p.m.

The rain is expected to end late this evening and then clearing is expected, with winds diminishing to 30 km/h this evening.

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