Stormy weather packing high winds forecast for Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver

Many BC Ferries cancelled

BC Ferries has cancelled 16 sailings on Monday due to a forecast calling for high winds that are expected to batter swaths of Vancouver Island and the western part of Metro Vancouver.

Cancellations will start at 5:15 a.m. on the Tsawwassen and Duke Point routes and at 6:15 a.m. on the Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo routes.

BC Ferries says it doesn't cancel sailings lightly, because customers depend on the service to get to their destinations and that service will resume as soon as it's safe.

It says in a release that customers with bookings will be fully refunded.

A wind warning issued by Environment Canada also covers the Sunshine Coast, with gusts expected to cause damage into Monday evening in some areas.

The agency issued a special advisory saying gusts possibly exceeding 100 kilometres an hour are expected over northern Vancouver Island, adding loose objects may be tossed by the wind or break tree branches.

"A very strong fall storm approaching the west coast will bring strong southeasterly winds to parts of the mainland coast tonight and Monday," it says in a special advisory. "Southeasterly winds are expected to pick up in the overnight hours and peak Monday morning."

Special advisories have also been issued for eastern and northern Vancouver Island as well as the Gulf Islands and high winds are expected in Greater Victoria through Monday afternoon.

Environment Canada says winds are expected to ease Sunday afternoon before packing another punch as a low pressure system moves onto Vancouver Island and weakens.

It says winds are expected to strengthen over the inner south coast on Monday morning when western sections of Metro Vancouver could experience their highest gusts, potentially exceeding 80 kilometres an hour.

The B.C. government has warned residents in areas expecting stormy weather and rain to be wary of flooding, and the Canadian Coast Guard says the weather may pose a challenge in the recovery of containers that fell overboard from a ship near Victoria on Friday.

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