NORTHEAST VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – Hold on to your hats and anything else that may fly away – Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Courtenay, Campbell River, and Powell River.

A wind warning is in effect for

  • East Vancouver Island – Courtenay to Campbell River
  • East Vancouver Island – Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay

Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or are occurring in the region, Environment Canada noted.

A vigorous Pacific frontal system is expected to stall across Vancouver Island this afternoon.

Southeast winds will increase to 70 km/h over exposed coastal sections of East Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast late this afternoon and persist until midday Thursday.

Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur, according to Environment Canada.

Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage.

However, Environment Canada meteorologist Carmen Hartt said the upcoming winds won’t be nearly as heavy as the Dec. 20 windstorm that is being called ‘the most damaging in BC Hydro history.’

“That storm that we had back on Dec. 20, we actually had some winds upwards of 100 km/h with some around 120 km/h so they were very damaging,” Hartt said. “With this event we’re expecting the gusts around 70 km/h at the maximum.”

Hartt said it’s a slow moving system with the strong winds persisting into the evening and overnight hours before easing off tomorrow afternoon.

Further south, a rainfall warning has been issued along East Vancouver Island from Duncan to Nanaimo, and Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay.

Rain, at times heavy, is expected.

A vigorous Pacific frontal system will stall across Vancouver Island this afternoonm bringing copious rainfall.

Parts of East Vancouver Island are expected to receive more than 50 mm of rain by Thursday afternoon. The area between Qualicum Beach and Fanny Bay is expected to receive even higher amounts approaching 100 mm.

Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible.