Peace Region storm update

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

Our latest report indicates those customers likely include a number of District 60 Schools, and parents should keep students home from Duncan Cran, Baldonnel, Hudson’s Hope, Wonowon, Upper Halfway, and the Aboriginal Education Centre.

An unconfirmed report also indicates the NorthPeaceAirport was shut down from approximately 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and a Central Mountain Air flight had to send a truck out so get passengers as the plane was unable to taxi.

More than 4,000 customers in the FortSt. John area are still without power, with an estimated restoration time by 5 p.m. Another 4,000 customers in Dawson Creek and 650 in Chetwynd are also in the dark, and they’re expected to get their power back on by 3 p.m. B.C. Hydro says the outages are due to strong winds causing trees to contact power lines, or causing the power lines to sway and touch each other.

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The wind warning in the North Peace has been lifted but the updated Environment Canada forecast still shows one in place in the South Peace with westerly winds gusting to 90 kilometres and hour early this morning. Powerful winds have also caused problems on area highways, with travel advisories in effect due to strong crosswinds, while Highway 49 is closed in both directions east of Dawson Creek because of downed power lines. 

The Chinook wind is also associated with the warm temperatures but did not result in a January 14th record. At 7.2, yesterday’s high fell slightly more than one degree off the 1965 mark of 8.3, and according to the long range forecast, if the airport weather station sets a record during this warm spell it will likely be on Friday. The January 17th record – also set in 1965 – was 8.9, and right now the forecast calls for a high of 9 on Friday. 

As for wind velocity, the best we’ve come up with is a Weather Network reading at about 8:30 last night, which had the sustained wind at 81 kilometres per hour, and gusts up to 137.  This is arguable, but generally speaking, it takes a sustained wind speed of 72 miles per hour to be considered hurricane force, meaning the aforementioned reading was about 20 miles an hour short of the mark. 

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