Victoria and much of the rest of Vancouver Island endured a rainy, snowy and windy Christmas that calmed down considerably on Boxing Day.
After close to 6,000 households lost power Christmas Day due to downed trees, B.C. Hydro’s website reported on Wednesday evening fewer than five outages, identified as being north of Saanich.
Gusts that reached a reported 80 kilometres per hour on Christmas Day were gone, with Willows Beach thick with pedestrians with toddlers in strollers and dogs.
Drive B.C. cited a dozen areas of slippery, slushy or compacted snow on the Island Wednesday evening, but no weather warnings were in effect.
Eight people were sent to hospital with minor injuries after the Christmas Day snowfall triggered several accidents on the Malahat. Victoria stands a 40 per cent chance of showers today, said Environment Canada meteorologist Allan Coldwells.
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A Christmas Day snowfall made a mess of Malahat travel plans, while high winds knocked out power to thousands in Greater Victoria.
Eight people were sent to hospital with minor injuries after several accidents on the Malahat.
B.C. Ambulance said crews were called to an area of the Malahat just south of Shawnigan Lake Road about 11 a.m. Eight people were taken by ambulance to Victoria General Hospital as emergency crews pulled several cars out of ditches.
The road was closed for about an hour, said Shawnigan Lake RCMP, who warned drivers to avoid the highway if possible.
Conditions didn’t improve much throughout the day. Drive B.C. reported heavy snowfall and limited visibility in the afternoon. In the evening, drivers were being warned of slushy sections between Goldstream Park and Lake Cowichan.
Much of the east side of Vancouver Island was hit with snow Tuesday morning, with up to 10 centimetres accumulating in some higher elevations north of the Malahat.
Greg Pearce, forecaster technologist for Environment Canada, said the weather system passed through the area Tuesday evening.
Strong winds also battered parts of the Island, knocking out power to 6,500 customers on southern Vancouver Island.
B.C. Hydro said trees down on lines caused about 2,500 customers to lose power in Duncan, while more than 2,600 were without power in Oak Bay.
Gusts near Oak Bay reportedly reached up to 80 kilometres an hour, according to Environment Canada.
Victoria Harbour saw winds of up to 56 km/h.
On Tuesday evening, B.C. Hydro’s website listed a power outage caused by trees across power lines in Ganges, on Saltspring Island, that began Tuesday afternoon and was not expected to be repaired before noon today.
It also listed several other outages that had been repaired Tuesday, including ones in Sooke, Saanich and Victoria.
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