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Heavy winds rock Chilliwack with power outages

Power outages began Tuesday afternoon in Chilliwack as a result of strong winds. The outages continued into Wednesday, knocking out traffic lights at several intersections including Yale Road and Nowell Street (above). - JENNA HAUCK/ THE PROGRESS
Power outages began Tuesday afternoon in Chilliwack as a result of strong winds. The outages continued into Wednesday, knocking out traffic lights at several intersections including Yale Road and Nowell Street (above).
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ THE PROGRESS

The after-effects of heavy winds in the eastern Fraser Valley Tuesday continue into Wednesday.

Approximately 361 BC Hydro customers in Rosedale have been without power since 4:30 Tuesday with an expected time back on of noon on Wednesday.

The extended outage led to the closing of Rosedale Traditional Community School for Jan. 11, although all other schools in the district remained open. Timothy Christian School is also closed Wednesday.

Environment Canada reported winds of 40 to 60 kilometres per hour (km/h), gusting to 80 km/h.

Also in Rosedale, one woman reported to the Progress that a 10-foot-by-10-foot gazebo with a metal roof (that takes four adults to lift) was blown onto the roof of her house.

Outages forced the Chilliwack School District board meeting to be cancelled, and city council's meeting only went ahead thanks to back-up generator power.

The outages continued into Wednesday, knocking out traffic lights at several intersections.

Power also went out just before 2 a.m. Wednesday at the Newmark apartment complex downtown affecting 230 customers. That is the second outage at the building, with a report someone was stuck in an elevator for a period of time on Tuesday.

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, a further 41 customers were without power in the Gill Road/Camp River Road area, and 45 customers downtown south of 3rd Avenue, east of Nowell, west of Charles and north of Norrish were affected.

BC Hydro reports crews were en route to those locations.

The largest outage by far due to a wire down is affecting 1,977 customers north of the Fraser River from Dewdney to Harrison Mills and up to Hemlock Valley.

There are a number of other minor outages in the Agassiz area as well.

See here for a list of other outages.

The heavy winds caused other problems Wednesday but there are few reports of major damage. A Chilliwack Fire Department crew was on scene on Mary Street around noon at a medical services building attempting to secure the loose siding that had blown off the fourth storey of a building.

And while Environment Canada ended the arctic outflow for Chilliwack and Agassiz Wednesday, it remained in place for the Fraser Valley as far east as Abbotsford.

paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch

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