Mobile home park near Nanaimo heavily hit during storm


WATCH: The storm that tore into Vancouver Island had a heavy impact on a mobile home park south of Nanaimo. Numerous homes were damaged by falling trees and branches and one was destroyed while a couple was still in it. One of the home’s owners says much of the damage was preventable. And for the first time in years, B.C. Hydro is calling on crews from outside the province to help restore power on Vancouver Island. Kendall Hanson reports.

It was an incredibly strong storm that damaged numerous homes at the Timberland Mobile Home Park in Cassidy.

Those who were here Thursday during the storm’s height say they were terrified for several hours.

As trees and branches fell they weren’t sure where to turn for safety.

“You can’t imagine what’s it’s like being inside one of these mobile homes when branches of that size are raining down,” said Vince Johnson. “It’s one of the most terrifying things we’ve ever been through.”

Five branches went through Vince Johnson’s roof, one even piercing his bedroom.

Johnson says what happened is frustrating because he and others at the park have been asking management to take more action to remove trees and branches near their homes. He says it’s incredible no one died.

A couple were luckily unscathed physically after a tree crushed their mobile home.

“Absolutely fortunate,” said Johnson. “It’s hard to look at some of the things that happened here over the last few days and say they were lucky but sometimes you have to look at it from that side. Nobody lost their life.”

Management says they have an arborist assess the trees at the park two times a year and this storm was just extreme.

Even those whose homes weren’t damaged are experiencing losses.

“We’re lucky,” said Lorraine Wright, a Cassidy resident. “Our house is okay but I’m worried about my freezer meat.”

B.C. Hydro has 800 people on Vancouver Island working to restore power.

“We’re actually bringing in crews from out of province from Western Canada to help with the restoration,” said Ted Olynyk of BC Hydro. “That’s the first time in my long time at hydro that we’ve had crews from out of province come over to Vancouver Island to help with restoration. That just demonstrates how serious of an event this was.”

One of the challenging spans saw a helicopter take a line across the Nanaimo river today as crews restored power. The restoration of power is expected to still take well into the next week.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!