Fierce winds close Highway 19 between Hardy and McNeill

Blown over trees plunge North Island residences into darkness

Winds gusting up to 110 kilometres per hour closed Highway 19 this morning and plunged parts of several North Island communities into darkness.

trees down

According to the Port McNeill RCMP office, winds knocked down trees near Orca Sand and Gravel between Port Hardy and Port McNeill blocking the highway and taking power lines down with them.

BC Hydro says the outage impacted about 250 Port McNeill and area residences and some businesses.

In Port Hardy, power was knocked out in Quatsino Sound impacting 62 residences as well as Coal Harbour Road impacting about five residence.

Zeballos was also impacted with 43 people losing power.

Winds are expected to diminish early this afternoon as the low moves inland and weakens.