11/11/2011 04:06 EST | Updated 01/11/2012 05:12 EST

BC Winter Weather: Interior Highways Take Dangerous Turn

Stormy weather has forced BC Ferries to delay ferries on several routes on Friday afternoon, cut power to thousands and caused havoc on the Coquihalla and other B.C. highways.

Shortly after 2 p.m. BC Ferries began announcing ferries would not be sailing between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and on several smaller routes until high winds subsided.

About 50,000 BC Hydro customers in the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island regions were without power as the wind knocked trees onto power lines during the height of the storm around 3 p.m.

Then by 3:30 p.m. the wind had subsided in some areas and some of the ferries had resumed sailing, including those on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route, but sailings on many routes were running behind schedule.

The storm also brought heavy snow to the Coquihalla Highway and officials were warning drivers not to use the route because of the dangerous winter driving conditions and the large number of vehicles spinning out in the snow.

Winter driving conditions are also impacting several other B.C. interior highways including Eagle Pass and Rogers Pass on Highway 1, and Pine Pass on Highway 97, and Kootenay Pass and Alison Pass on Highway 3, according to Drive B.C.

Severe weather warnings have also been issued for Vancouver, Pitt Meadows and White Rock, where winds of up to 90 km/hr are forecast for Friday afternoon and evening.