BC Hydro says some customers could be without power for days


WATCH: The winds may be dying down but the clean-up is only just beginning tonight after a deadly wind storm. One person was killed by a falling tree in Duncan and there were many other close calls today. It’s the biggest and most destructive storm to hit Vancouver Island in years and as Kendall Hanson tells us, it resulted in a third of Vancouver Island losing power.

It was an unusual feeling driving through Nanaimo Thursday tonight. Large sections of the city have no power, leaving areas normally lit in the dark.

It’s the same situation for many parts of Vancouver Island after a storm unlike any in years.

“I haven’t seen a storm like this probably since 2006,” said Ted Olynyk of BC Hydro. “This was a pretty extreme event.”

The ferocious winds started in Nanaimo around noon and lasted for several hours knocking down trees and power for many.

A home in the Uplands Drive area saw a tree torn up at its roots break through the roof of a home. No one was inside but neighbourhood residents were shaken.

A downed tree fell near Leighton road and Westwood Lake road just before 2 pm.

The tree crushed the fence on its way down and landing straight across the road.

There was a car on the other side. It managed to avoid getting crushed but sustained damage from the fallen branches.

No traffic was able to get through for at least two hours before crews were able to get to it.

In Parksville, a tree cut a home on Martindale Road virtually in half.

It is a small sampling of all the storm damage.

“We still have about 150,000 customers impacted on Vancouver Island,” said Olynyk early Thursday evening. “That’s more than a third of all our customers impacted and have an outage as the result of this storm.” The number without power had dropped to 117,000 by 10 p.m. Thursday night.

Numerous roads, such as Jingle Pot Road and Kilpatrick are closed in sections, because of all the downed trees and power lines.

“Many. There are a lot of trees across. We’ve worked at getting some of them out of there but there are still some danger trees too in there,” said Deputy Fire Chief Wade Pile, of the East Wellington Volunteer Fire Department.

BC Hydro is asking people to be safe and stay well back from many of the live hydro lines still on the ground

The utility says it will get crews from northern parts of BC to help restore power to the south coast and Vancouver Island but with the amount of damage, the utility says some customers will likely not see the lights come back on for days.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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