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Strong wind, heavy rain knock out power to tens of thousands in B.C.

BC Hydro reports as of 4 a.m., nearly 175,000 customers without electricity on the southwest coast
The BC Hydro outage map as it looked at 8 a.m. Nov. 5. (BC Hydro)

Tens of thousands of BC Hydro customers are in the dark after fierce storms with strong winds toppled trees and brought down power lines in the southern part of the province.

The utility says as of 4 a.m., nearly 175,000 customers were without electricity on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland.

The hardest hit areas included Surrey, Victoria, Nanaimo, Qualicum and Parksville.

The company says trees and branches already weakened by the drought this summer have been knocked down by the wind.

Crews have been working throughout the night to repair damaged power lines, hydro poles and other equipment in order to restore electricity to all customers.

Environment Canada had issued wind warnings Friday evening, forecasting gusts of up to 90 km/h, but those were lifted overnight.

—The Canadian Press

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