UPDATE: More than 75,000 customers in the dark with heavy afternoon rain, wind

Large outages across entire Lower Mainland from second storm in series

UPDATE: More than 75,000 customers in the dark with heavy afternoon rain, wind

Power outages ballooned to more than 75,000 BC Hydro customers across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Friday afternoon because of the high winds and rain.

A new wave of rough weather blasted the region, sending hydro crews into a renewed effort to get the lights back on.

Nearly 7,000 customers woke up in the dark Friday morning, with the hardest hit areas in Abbotsford, Surrey and Mission. But that number has risen with a new surge in the storm.

“We expect outages to increase until the winds abate.,” BC Hydro says on its website. “Exact restoration times will not be available until full damage assessments are complete later this evening. Based on the amount of damage, some customers may be without power overnight.”

Another 7,000 were without power on Vancouver Island, many of them in Tofino and Ucluelet.

As of 2 p.m., the wind warning from Environment Canada was still in effect.

“The wind will continue to increase from the southwest along the west coast of Vancouver Island, peaking at 100 km/h early this afternoon. East Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound near Bowen Island, Southern Gulf Islands, Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley – West including Abbotsford regions will see their winds from the southeast increase up to 90 km/h early this afternoon,” the warning said.

“As the low moves across the South Coast, the winds will veer to southwest 40 gusting to 80 km/h late this afternoon over West Vancouver Island region, through Inland Vancouver Island region and progressing eastward reaching Metro Vancouver by early evening.”

The third, and most powerful, storm in the series is set to hit Saturday.

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