01/18/2015 03:12 EST | Updated 03/20/2015 05:59 EDT

Harsh weather, heavy winds lead to power outages across British Columbia

VANCOUVER - Harsh weather and strong winds knocked out power in thousands of homes across British Columbia on Sunday.

A BC Hydro spokeswoman says 30,000 customers reported an outage at the height of the storm.

Mora Scott says powerful winds caused trees and branches to fall on hydro wires, but crews worked hard throughout the day to restore power as swiftly as possible.

The hardest-hit area was southern Vancouver Island, including the communities of Saanich, Colwood, Duncan, Langford and parts of Victoria.

The Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast also suffered mass power outages.

Environment Canada issued rainfall warnings earlier Sunday for Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley, with more than 50 millimetres of rain expected in both regions.

A special weather statement was also issued for southern B.C., with as much as 30 centimetres of snow expected to fall on the Coquihalla Highway.