British Columbia Storms


Residents in southwestern B.C. will spend their weekend cleaning up in the wake of the third powerful storm to hit the region this week.The latest storm hammered the region Thursday night and Friday morning, leaving more than quarter of a million families in the dark and disrupting the morning commute.

The storm was blamed for at least four deaths in the northwestern U.S., as well as the closure of two major bridges and flooding.

Winds that peaked at 157 kilometres an hour knocked out power to a widespread area, including Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby and Victoria were the hardest-hit communities.

B.C. Hydro says crews have restored service to about 87,000 homes since the storm blew through, but there are still 163,000 customers without electricity.

Hydro spokeswoman Elisha Morena told CBC Radio that crews are focusing on the larger outages, calling the situation a “multiple-day event” and saying that some people will be left in the dark for perhaps more than 24 hours.

“A multiple-day event is a situation where we’re going to work as hard as we can to get through things today. But we do believe there will be some customers that will be out multiple days,” she said.

Some of the 163,000 B.C. Hydro customers have already endured days without power, since the first storm blasted B.C.’s South Coast on Monday.

Slow commute for many

There were major disruptions to the morning commute in Greater Vancouver, with the Lions Gate Bridge and the Stanley Park Causeway closed after about three dozen trees fell across the causeway.

Crews worked to clear the area in time for the afternoon commute, but officials say only cars will be allowed through and the rest of Stanley Park will remain closed for the weekend.

SkyTrain service was disrupted Friday morning, but the trains were running again later in the day, with the only problem being a power outage at the VCC/Clark station. As a result, the Millennium line was terminating at Commercial Drive.

SeaBus service from North Vancouver was cut back, with only one berth operational after a barge slammed into the terminal.

There are numerous trees down on roads across the Lower Mainland.

The winds also forced BC Ferries to cancel a couple of early sailings between Tsawwassen and Duke Point on Vancouver Island.

As well, numerous schools had to be closed in the area because of the power outages.

On Vancouver Island, one of the hardest-hit areas is the small community of Sooke, west of Victoria, where the wind tore off part of the roof of an apartment building and some of the walls have fallen over.

Trees have fallen on a number of houses and cars in the area as well.

Storm had widespread impact

In the Interior, the southern half of the Coquihalla Highway was closed Friday, as has Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon and the Duffey Lake Road between Pemberton and Lillooet.

There were also travel advisories for the Hope-Princeton Highway and the Okanagan Connector.

Farther south in Washington state and Oregon, the same system brought heavy rains and winds of up to 160 kilometres an hour, toppling trees, flooding streets and knocking out power to about 1.5 million homes and businesses.

Downed trees and debris also forced the closure of several highways in Washington and Oregon.



This story is of interest to me because my daughter was there for work reasons this week. She just beat the storm that hit Whisler on Thursday night. She had a traumatic bumpy airplane ride back to Edmonton. 😐

1 Comment »

  1. Catastrophes like this, sad as they are, are what must make us think how insignificant we are, how little importance we have, before the magnitude of Nature.

    We are born, live and die but Nature will be there as long as God decides to be so.

    I am sorry for this happening to fellow human beings, but we cannot help it happening, can we?

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