UPDATED: Hydro crews restore power to all but 500 Vancouver Island customers

First storm of the season batters Vancouver Island's east coast

Pockets of power outages dot Vancouver Island following the fall's first windstorm.

Power had been restored to all but about 500 customers by dinner time last night after the first big blow of the fall shook eastern Vancouver Island late Thursday and early Friday.

BC Hydro reported more than 29,000 customers were affected during a 24-hour period that saw dawn break Friday morning with pocket outages virtually everywhere on Vancouver Island’s inside coast.

The first windstorm of fall roared across the Island leaving BC Hydro crews working to restore power to communities from Port Alice to Langford.

The storm spared virtually no community on the east coast, with winds peaking at 117 kilometres an hour at Trial Island near Oak Bay and Sisters Island off Salt Spring and surpassing 80 km/h in several other areas.

Crews were out throughout the night restoring power to more than two-thirds of affected customers.

At 8 a.m., the biggest single outages were in Courtenay, where more than 1,600 clients, North Cowichan, where more than 1,800 residents are affected and Saanich where two large pockets totalling about 1,800 were hit.

Cowichan District Hospital had to rely on its power generators when its power went down between 8 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Friday. BC Ferries also reported several sailings cancelled, including the Tsawwassen/Duke Point and Comox/Powell River routes.

“The eastern side of Vancouver Island were hit pretty hard,” BC Hydro spokesman Ted Olynyk Olynyk said.“While it wasn’t a particularly strong storm, there was a lot of dry vegetation from the summer hanging from trees.”

For a map of the outages, and updates on repairs, click here.