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» »Unlabelled » West Coast storm cuts power to 80,000

It was another wet and windy night on the West Coast, as a storm blew through knocking down trees and power lines, dumping snow on mountain highways and forcing BC Ferries to cancel some early morning sailings.

The storm knocked out power to about 80,000 BC Hydro customers across the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island as the main front of the storm blew through early Tuesday morning.

The highwinds forced BC Ferries to cancel the 5:15 a.m. PT and 7:45 a.m. PT sailings between Tsawwassen and Duke Point near Nanaimo.

TransLink was reporting at 6 a.m. that the heavy wind and rain were causing stop-and-go service on some SkyTrain routes.

The West Coast Express train Number 1 was delayed by a fallen tree and was expected to be one hour late arriving in Vancouver, making the second train half an hour late as well.

The stormed knock out traffic lights across much of Metro Vancouver and knocked trees onto many roads. In Delta, Highway 10 Eastbound was closed by a fallen tree around 6 a.m.

The storm apparently knocked a brick facade off the side of the Cassandra Hotel at 3075 Kingsway near Rupert Street. The storm apparently knocked a brick facade off the side of the Cassandra Hotel at 3075 Kingsway near Rupert Street. Steve Lus/CBC

In East Vancouver the storm apparently knocked a brick facade off the second and third storeys of the Cassandra Hotel on Kingway, knocking a pile of brick onto the road and waking up many residents in the area.

On the North Shore the storm also knocked out CBC Radio's FM transmitter on Mount Seymour for a short while.

Officials at the Fraser Valley Adventist Acadamy said the school will be closed for the day because of a power outage.

Snow in the mountains

The storm brought a big blast off snow to mountains across the southern B.C., including the Whistler-Blackcomb resort, which got 72 cm of new snow, and Cypress Mountain on the North Shore, which got 38 centimetres of new snow.

The avalanche danger in the Sea-to-Sky region was rated extreme and Highway 99 was closed in both directions in the Duffy Lakes area north of Pemberton because of high avalanche risk.

Across much of the rest of B.C. the avalanche risk was rated high and on the highways in the Southern Interior, heavy snow and freezing rain were reported on highways 3, 3A and 5.

As of 7 a.m. PT a snowfall warnings remained in place for the Columbia region, which is expected to get a dump of snow on Tuesday as the storm passes over eastern areas of the province.

After the storm blows through on Tuesday, the weather is forecast to clear for a short while before another storm system blows in later in the day or overnight.

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