Thousands without power, with warnings of more ice to come

Thousands without power, with warnings of more ice to come

Close to 9,000 customers are without power, with Mission and Abbotsford hardest hit

Thousands of people in the Fraser Valley remain without power following a winter storm that Environment Canada is warning will continue today.

A majority of the customers impacted are in Abbotsford and Mission, according to BC Hydro, which says crews have been deployed to many of the outages.

“Difficult conditions and extensive damage may mean longer outage durations for some customers,” it said in a statement. “Individual restoration times may vary and will be provided when available. The safety of the public and our crews remains our top priority.”

In Abbotsford, the largest outages as of 9:30 a.m. were in the Clearbrook and Townline Hill areas where more than 3,000 residences were affected, and on Sumas Mountain in the Batt Road area.

Mission was even harder hit, with thousands more affected, including much of the Hatzic area and most of the District north of 7th Avenue and east of Cade Barr Street.

For updates, see the BC Hydro outage map here.

The Fraser Valley was hit with freezing rain beginning Thursday morning and it is expected to continue throughout Friday.

In its newest alerts, Environment Canada says a strengthening storm just west of Washington State will be sending warm, moist air into the Fraser Valley region, causing more freezing rain for Abbotsford, mixed with winter storm warning for Chilliwack and Hope.

In Abbotsford, freezing rain will likely begin near mid-morning and last through mid-evening before the wind shifts to onshore and precipitation becomes a rain-snow mix, forecasters warn.

In Chilliwack, residents can expect freezing rain throughout the day, before switching to snow. About 20 cm is expected to fall overnight.

In Hope, heavy snow is the main threat, Environment Canada says, with 20 to 30 cm expected between Friday and Saturday.