Wind gusts reached 121 km/h during today's wind storm

Dec 21 2018, 8:26 am

While Environment Canada forecasted wind gusts of up to 100 km/h for Thursday as a storm whipped BC’s South Coast, they ended up being much worse.

At the peak wind speeds around 1 pm, gusts of 121 km/h were recorded at Sandheads, northwest of Tsawwassen. The weather forced BC Ferries to cancel all major sailings at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal between the Mainland and Vancouver Island.

Abbotsford Airport also recorded wind speeds over 100 km/h, clocking in at 101 km/h.

Things were worse on Vancouver Island, where the weather centre on Solander Island reached 133 km/h, and Sartine Island hit 115 km/h.

The agency said the most damaging winds on the South Coast would be expected in the late afternoon.

Today’s winds are among the worst the region has seen in months, leading to widespread power outages, fallen trees and property destruction. More than 335,000 people were without power at 4 pm.

In White Rock, a pier was severed — and someone had to be rescued — after a portion of the historic walkway collapsed in the high winds.

The winds are not, however, stronger than those in 2006 windstorm.  That storm, which toppled thousands of trees in Stanley Park, saw wind speeds of 157 km/h at its peak, in Race Rocks in the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Causing more than $100-million in property damage, it is hailed as one of the most devastating weather events in BC history.

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