More than 20,000 Lower Mainland residents were without electricity Friday morning after a storm of freezing rain swept through the region, leaving much of the Fraser Valley locked under several centimetres of ice.
Photos from Chilliwack Mountain show one neighbourhood completely coated in ice, with one family’s vehicles frozen to the driveway. Elsewhere in Chilliwack, sheets of icicles clung to railings and tree branches were encased in bulbs of ice.
— BCWeather101(Andrew) (@BCWeather101) January 7, 2022
Scenes in east chilliwack this morning.
Temps are still at -1.5 with freezing drizzle. One of the worst ice storms I’ve ever seen. I’d say about an inch and a half on most surfaces. #BCStorm #BCice #BCsnow@50ShadesofVan @LMainWx @Zach_wx @BCWeather101 @HowesNathan @MuketyMuk pic.twitter.com/MiGnaUnUpG
— Kesler Thomas (@kesler__thomas) January 7, 2022
The ice also downed several trees around the area.
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BC Hydro was aware of 74 separate outages affecting 22,855 customers.
“Crews continue to work to restore power to customers affected by outages caused from the heavy snowfall and freezing rain,” BC Hydro said in a statement. “Crews are currently unable to access Sunshine Valley and Manning Park due to the closure of Highway 3. Once the highway reopens, crews will be ready to begin work to restore power to those customers.”
There were also major outages in Surrey, Richmond, and Vancouver. A wire down in the West End cut power to nearly 2,500 customers in downtown Vancouver.
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Much of Metro Vancouver is currently under a wind warning from Environment Canada, and gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour are expected.
“Freezing rain over central and eastern Fraser Valley has caused significant ice buildup on trees and structures. Strong winds could further worsen the situation and lead to potential damages or power outages due to tree branches breaking,” the weather agency said in a statement.
The winds are expected to calm down Friday afternoon.