Heavy rainfall contributed to windstorm damage, BC Hydro says


WATCH: BC Hydro says heavy rainfall preceding the storm weakened soil, reducing the stability of some trees.

In its report on the December 2018 windstorm, BC Hydro wrote that heavy rainfall contributed to the damage.

More than 400 millimetres of rain fell in some places before the storm, according to the report, weakening soil and reducing the stability of some trees.

In Saanich, municipal arborists responded to about 20 calls of downed trees.

The damage was much greater in other places such as the mid-island and the Gulf Islands.

“[Roots are] like fingers that are in the soil,” said Saanich’s parks manager, Andrew Burger. “When it’s dry, they’re grippy. When the soil gets really saturated, they start to loosen, and if you have enough wind force… then basically the roots just let go and the whole thing just topples.”

In 2015, parts of B.C., including Vancouver Island, were affected by what was then the most destructive storm in BC Hydro’s history.

The latest report indicates the December 2018 storm was worse in every category.

Previously, experts have said that climate change could make storms more severe in the future.

“Storms are going to impact the B.C. coast and inland B.C. possibly more frequently, more intensely,” Armel Castellan told CHEK News last November.

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