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Wind warnings issued as first fall storm approaches B.C.’s South Coast

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Residents across much of Vancouver Island and B.C.’s South Coast should prepare for power outages and possible storm damage as strong winds and heavy rain begin on Sunday night.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a wind warning on Sunday, saying winds near 100 km/h and gusting up to 120 km/h are expected across Northern Vancouver Island and parts of B.C.’s South Coast.

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“Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur,” according to the warning. “High winds may result in power outages and fallen tree branches.”

Near Bowen Island and Lions Bay, 50km/h winds are expected, accompanied by between 25 to 65 mm of rain.

A second storm system will bring more rain and winds approaching 90 km/h on Monday.

This is the first windstorm of the season and tree branches, which will be heavy with wet foliage, are more likely to break, increasing the risk of damage and power outages, said Yimei Li, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

”The main threat from this system will be strong winds,” Li said. ”We’re not anticipating a huge amount of rain.”

She said Environment Canada was expecting 10 to 20 mm of rain for municipalities in western Metro Vancouver, such as Richmond or Delta. Municipalities closer to the mountains could see twice that.

”It’s nothing too significant in terms of rainfall,” Li said.

The forecast did prompt B.C.’s River Forecast Centre to issue a high streamflow advisory for Vancouver Island and the South Coast, including Metro Vancouver.

”The heaviest precipitation is expected to occur Monday and Tuesday,” according to the advisory, which suggested Metro Vancouver could see from 20 to 60 mm of rain, depending on the location.

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