UPDATE: Environment Canada has ended the wind warning for Kamloops at 9:05 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4. BC Hydro reports power has been restored to most of Kamloops. There were two significant outages, in Westsyde and Valleyview.
Strong winds are battering Kamloops on Saturday morning (Jan. 4), with gusts of up to 90 km/h sending objects in yards flying, knocking branches off trees and cutting power to parts of the city.
The sudden windstorm swept into the area at about 7 a.m., carrying with it some sleet. Shortly after the windstorm arrived, Environment Canada issued a wind warning for the area, with the 7:17 a.m. bulletin in effect until at least noon. BC Hydro is responding to two significant power outages, one in Westsyde affecting about 2,800 customers and another in Valleyview impacting about 700 customers. Residents in Valleyview have reported seeing at least two transformers explode during the fierce storm.
The weather agency said the strong westerly winds will continue through Saturday morning, easing as the hours pass. The wind was blowing at a steady 55 km/h as of 7:30 a.m., with gusts reaching 90 km/h.
Environment Canada said that kind of intensity can result in loose objects being tossed into the air, causing injury or damage, and tree branches to break. Motorists are urged to adjust their driving with changing road conditions due to high winds.
Meanwhile, there is also a snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway between Kamloops and Hope, with up to 15 centimetres of the white stuff expected to fall on the highway. Heaviest accumulations are expected between Merritt and Hope on Saturday, with another five to 10 centimetres expected to fall on Saturday night and on Sunday.