Environment Canada warns of ‘very strong storms’ off British Columbia coast

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BC Ferries has suspended service to and from Prince Rupert until Dec. 28 due to predicted “hurricane-force winds” and the ship’s engine trouble.

High winds are expected across much of the Capital Region and Vancouver Island on Christmas Day due to the weather system.

Environment Canada is forecasting winds of up to 70 kilometers per hour near coastal areas of Capital Region Victoria, warning that loose objects could be whipped up by the gusts and cause injuries and property damage. ing.

A wind warning is in effect for northern Vancouver Island Sunday morning, with wind gusts of up to 90 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 110 kilometers per hour expected.

By the afternoon, the warning had been extended to western Vancouver Island and the National Capital Region, as well as eastern Vancouver Island from Courtenay to Campbell River.

BC Ferries has suspended service to and from Prince Rupert until Dec. 28 due to forecasts of “hurricane-force winds” and engine trouble on the ship.

Repairs to the Northern Expedition’s main engine have begun, and the turbocharged engines needed for repairs are being trucked from Vancouver to Prince Rupert (a 12-hour journey).

BC Ferries says the crew for the next voyage will arrive in Prince Rupert on a chartered flight.

The ferry company apologized to customers whose Christmas plans may be ruined by the cancellation, and offered not only a refund but also the possibility of a refund to those who had booked tickets.

Customer service and terminal staff are notifying people with reservations of flight cancellations.

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall told the Times Colonist that the company does not plan to suspend service on any of its southern routes on Christmas Day. She said: “The only place we are affected is in the north.”

Salt Spring Island’s Port Authority announced Friday that it would open the breakwater and Kanaka Pier as a safe harbor in preparation for a potential storm.

“We ask ships entering port to be self-reliant and for obvious safety reasons not to use wood-burning stoves while in port,” the authority said on its website, and there is no charge for the shelter. . “I hope you have a merry Christmas.”

— With files from Canadian Press

mjlo@timescolonist.com

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