WATCH: Victoria wind storm brings down dozens of large trees and branches, leading to a massive clean-up effort. Tess van Straaten reports.
A massive clean-up effort is underway after a wicked windstorm hit Greater Victoria.
The damaging storm brought down dozens of large trees and big branches, which led to thousands of power outages throughout the Capital Region.
At least one home in Saanich was hit by a tree and several cars throughout Victoria were also buried under downed trees or big branches.
In downtown Victoria, two parked cars had an unexpected guest in their stall when a big branch crashed between the vehicles.
“I parked my car, went in to order a coffee and when I came out I couldn’t believe it!” said Martin Segger, whose brand new Audi was sitting under the big branch. “I only got the car two months.”
The same massive branch also hit a passing motorist, making for a very close call.
“We were just coming up to the light and the branch came crashing down and hit the back end of the Toyota that was parked and then it landed right in front of us and hit our bumper,” motorist Rosalind Derks told CHEK News. “I haven’t seen a storm this bad in a long time. It’s crazy.”
Mother Nature’s fury also left sidewalks and front yards covered with a mess of trunks and branches and in some cases, dangling electrical wires.
At the peak of the storm, thousands of people lost power — mostly due to trees falling on power lines — and since many of lines blocked roadways, emergency responders had trouble keeping up with all the calls.
“We have about five or six other calls going on at the same time so it’s going to be a busy night,” says Victoria Fire Chief Rick Long. “We’re preparing for the worst.”
Wild wind storm causes transformer to explode, tree fire
Some of the more dangerous situations saw a transformer explode outside Ma Miller’s Pub in Langford, sending sparks flying.
In Vic West, a big branch landed on wires, causing electrical arcing and the tree to catch fire.
As Sunday night dragged on, B.C. Hydro crews worked around the clock to restore power to as many people as possible, including those who had been without power for several hours.
“It’s just been so nasty, really nasty, and you could just feel the wind pile driving the house,” explained Saanich homeowner Charlotte Vanclyke. “Then there was a boom and the power was out.”
B.C. Ferries passengers on the 4pm sailing of the Queen of New Westminster also got a jolt, after the ferry hit the dock as it left Tsawwassen on its way to Swartz Bay. Fortunately, no one was injured.