Rain complicates cleanup after powerful storm rips through Metro Vancouver

Electricity is slowly being restored across Metro Vancouver two days after the region was battered by a powerful windstorm, but now the area is being drenched by heavy rain.

VANCOUVER — Electricity is slowly being restored across Metro Vancouver two days after the region was battered by a powerful windstorm, but now the area is being drenched by heavy rain.

A rainfall warning is in effect for Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley with up to 80 millimetres expected in some areas, and the downpour could overwhelm debris-clogged drains, add to the woes of the estimated 60,000 customers still waiting for power.

BC Hydro brought in crews from across the province to help restore outages that affected more than half-a-million customers at the height of the most destructive storm to hit the area in nearly a decade.

More than 157,000 were still in the dark Sunday evening, but Hydro teams worked through the night to cut that number, although the utility estimates some residents in Surrey may not have power until late tonight.

Officials in Vancouver warn it could take weeks for the city to fully clean up the mess from downed trees that, in some cases, ripped up pavement and damaged other infrastructure as the entire root ball was torn from the ground.

The timing of the storm is also being blamed for some of the damage because high winds usually occur in the region during winter, but this storm happened when many trees still have full canopies of leaves, making them especially vulnerable.

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