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Heavy winds coming to North Island, Powell River

NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – Here we blow again.

Environment Canada has issued another wind warning for East Vancouver Island from Courtenay to Campbell River, as well as for Powell River, Port McNeill, and Port Hardy.

Southeast winds of 70 km/h gusting to 90 km/h will develop early this evening from Courtenay to Campbell River on East Vancouver Island and from Saltery Bay to Powell River on the Sunshine Coast.

The strong winds will last for a few hours before easing overnight.

Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald said a deep low will approach the northern tip of Vancouver Island this afternoon.

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“The strongest winds for the east island are expected beginning at dinnertime, 6 p.m. right through the late night hours till about 2 a.m.,” MacDonald said.

With wind gusts expected to reach 90 km/h, issues such as falling trees and power outages typically occur when gusts exceed 80 km/h., according to MacDonald.

“There is definitely a good chance of ferry delays and cancellations with these strong winds coming in,” he noted.

Tonight’s winds will be accompanied by roughly 10 to 20 millimetres of rain.

The hardest hit communities will be Port McNeill and Port Hardy, MacDonald noted.

The storm will continue tracking northwards into Haida Gwaii but the worst of it will blow through this evening and overnight.

Saturday will be a better day, with a breezy morning and drying conditions as the weekend progresses.

The next weather maker arrives on Tuesday, with strong winds and moderate rain in the forecast.

Storm after storm

There has been a series of weather systems that have hit the North Island over the past couple of months.

The windstorm that swept over Coastal B.C. and Vancouver Island on Dec. 20 was considered to be the most damaging in BC Hydro history.

That storm brought winds upwards of 100 km/h with some around 120 km/h.

On Jan. 3, another windstorm swept ashore, bringing winds reaching 70 km/h.

And on Jan. 8, the  Comox Valley received more snowfall than it does throughout the entire month of January.

Over a 16-hour time period, the valley saw between 13 and 18 centimetres of snow, depending on elevation.

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