A man shovelling his Langford driveway after an unusually heavy snowfall was struck by a falling tree branch, sending him to hospital with undisclosed injuries.
First responders were called to a home in the 500-block of Treanor Avenue at 8:48 a.m. after the tree branch snapped under the additional weight brought on by Tuesday’s massive snowfall.
It’s believed the man did not see the branch before it hit him. When firefighters arrived he was still conscious but had fallen down in freezing temperatures, so their first move was to bundle him up and get him inside, according to Langford Fire Rescue Chief Chris Aubrey.
The man, who is in his 50s, was said to be in stable condition at the time he was taken to hospital but there have been no updates on his condition since then.
Accumulations of more than 30-35 centimetres were seen on parts of the South Island Tuesday after a winter storm passed over the region, causing chaos for anyone attempting to leave their home.
According to Aubrey, one concern heading into a weekend forecast to have much warmer, wetter weather is that trees could be put under even more strain.
“This snow, while light, there’s a lot of it, a lot of weight on trees, and if it starts to warm up or rain it might put even more weight on them and cause branches to break,” said the fire chief.
Combined with anticipated bitterly cold winds, which have prompted yet another weather warning for the region, damage could be significant and Islanders should act accordingly.
“These are just conditions that we’re not used to here in Victoria,” said Aubrey, adding crews are still seeing incidents involving vehicles with summer tires or car roofs that have not been cleared off.
The 500-block of Treanor Avenue in Langford is shown in this Google Street View image.
Meanwhile, BCEHS is asking drivers living in regions walloped by snow this week to make sure they’re giving ambulances enough room on the roads amid extreme winter conditions.
“Our paramedics often see the devastating effects of people travelling in bad weather,” BCEHS said in a statement, adding drivers should have proper winter or mud and snow-rated tires, enough fuel and plenty of wiper fluid, if not avoiding travel altogether.
Residents can also help paramedics by clearing sidewalks and driveways, making sure house numbers are highly visible and only calling 911 for serious medical emergencies as call volumes spike during icy conditions.
Those with less urgent medical issues can call 811 to be connected with a nurse at HealthLinkBC, EHS reminds British Columbians.