VANCOUVER — Environment Canada says a powerful windstorm was expected to lash much of the west coast of Vancouver Island with strong gusts and towering waves capable of inundating low-lying shorelines.

The weather office warned of dangerous storm surges on Monday as west winds gust to 100 kilometres per hour.

The agency said the winds could send waves of up to 12 metres “crashing onshore” during the height of the storm.

A wind warning was also issued for Greater Victoria with west winds of 70 to 90 kilometres forecast over the region until Tuesday.

The incoming system was also slated to blanket southern Interior mountain passes, including the Coquihalla Highway and Kootenay Pass, with 35 to 40 centimetres of snow before changing to flurries Tuesday.

Environment Canada said the coastal storm could bring blackouts and falling tree limbs to the Juan de Fuca Strait area, including Victoria, but it specifically warned storm watchers on western Vancouver Island to “be alert for exceptionally high waves.”

“Keep away from large logs on the beach,” the agency said in its forecast. “Water running up on the beach can easily lift or roll logs which can injure someone caught in their path.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press