(Twitter/Central Saanich Police)

High winds knock trees down, cause power outages across Peninsula

Tree fell across Highway 17, Central and North Saanich municipal halls closed

A fallen tree blocked a portion of Highway 17 near Keating X Road after landing on hydro lines earlier this afternoon and power outages have been reported across the Peninsula.

Southbound traffic along Pat Bay Highway was slowed as emergency crews responded to the fallen tree that had traffic down to one lane before being cleared at around 2 p.m.

RELATED: Power outage creates mayhem at mall parkade

A spokesperson for Central Saanich Police said their communication systems also went down.

Central and North Saanich municipal halls were closed for the remainder of the day due to a power outage as was Panorama Recreation Centre.

Fallen trees across the Peninsula were also reported with some branches falling from hundreds of feet in the air, narrowly missing homes and cars nearby.

BC Ferries cancelled afternoon sailings departing Swartz Bay and Victoria International Airport said high winds had impacted some flights.

A backlog of travellers trying to catch a ferry from Swartz Bay saw vehicle lineups stretching down the Pat Bay Highway.

RELATED: Thousands of BC Hydro customers without power in Greater Victoria

RELATED: High winds topple trees, power lines in Saanich

In a statement, BC Hydro said all available crews and resources are at work to restore power to customers. A reported 100,000 customers across Vancouver Island were without power mid-afternoon.

“While strong winds continue, crews will assess damage and make repairs where it can be done safely,” it read. “Until the storm diminishes some specific estimates and restoration times will be difficult.”

The company advises anyone who comes across a downed power line to stay at least 10 metres from it call 9-1-1 immediately.


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