An incoming weather system could add additional challenges to the search for a small plane and its two occupants missing since June 8 in southeastern British Columbia.
Capt. Dennis Power, a 19 Wing public affairs officer in Comox, says weather is closing in along sections of the massive search area which stretches across rugged and mountainous terrain from Cranbrook west to Kamloops.
Power says if poor conditions prevent an adequate search of one part of the grid, the 15 military and civilian planes in the air Thursday will be reassigned to search other areas.
Power says 70 people are actively engaged in efforts to find 21-year-old Alex Simons of Kamloops, B.C., and his 21-year-old passenger Sydney Robillard of Lethbridge, Alta.
He says another 60 people are working at search headquarters, investigating leads or doing other support work.
The single-engine Piper Warrior piloted by Simons, vanished after refuelling in Cranbrook on a flight from Lethbridge to Kamloops.
Several thunderstorms have rolled through the southeastern part of the province since the plane disappeared and Environment Canada warned of winds gusting up to 60 kilometres an hour over the Okanagan region on Thursday.
“The weather does create some challenges for us,” Power said. “The search is ongoing.”
On Sunday, rescuers estimated the huge search could take weeks to complete, depending on the weather.