A fallen tree blocked a portion of Highway 17 near Keating X Road after landing on hydro lines earlier this afternoon and power outages have been reported across the Peninsula.
Southbound traffic along Pat Bay Highway was slowed as emergency crews responded to the fallen tree that had traffic down to one lane before being cleared at around 2 p.m.
A spokesperson for Central Saanich Police said their communication systems also went down.
Central and North Saanich municipal halls were closed for the remainder of the day due to a power outage as was Panorama Recreation Centre.
Before heading out please check https://t.co/uPvNqTNVpw Crews from @MainroadSIsland are working at full strength to reopen impacted roads. REMINDER: If an intersection traffic light is out, please use the 4-way stop procedure. #csaan
— Central Saanich (@CSaanich) December 20, 2018
Fallen trees across the Peninsula were also reported with some branches falling from hundreds of feet in the air, narrowly missing homes and cars nearby.
BC Ferries cancelled afternoon sailings departing Swartz Bay and Victoria International Airport said high winds had impacted some flights.
A backlog of travellers trying to catch a ferry from Swartz Bay saw vehicle lineups stretching down the Pat Bay Highway.
Advisory 20/12/2018 Winds are continuing to impact flights. Please check the status of your flight prior to departing for the airport. If you're hoping to book a flight last-minute, please contact the airline by phone or on-line first. Thank you.
— Victoria Int Airport (@Fly_YYJ) December 20, 2018
In a statement, BC Hydro said all available crews and resources are at work to restore power to customers. A reported 100,000 customers across Vancouver Island were without power mid-afternoon.
“While strong winds continue, crews will assess damage and make repairs where it can be done safely,” it read. “Until the storm diminishes some specific estimates and restoration times will be difficult.”
The company advises anyone who comes across a downed power line to stay at least 10 metres from it call 9-1-1 immediately.
Stay safe out here! Branches fell from trees just outside our offices at the corner of Second and #Sidney narrowly missing a parked car. Check our website for the latest on power outages and #yyjtraffic updates pic.twitter.com/qxIa9Xi694
— Peninsula News (@PeninsulaNews) December 20, 2018