Port Alberni shovels out after a 15 cm weekend snow dump

Port Alberni shovels out after a 15 cm weekend snow dump
File Photo

It may be the end of February, but Winter has reared its head yet again on Vancouver Island with Port Alberni getting a snow dump over the weekend.

What Environment Canada initially predicted to be five centimetres and then 10 centimetres of snowfall in the city yesterday turned out to be 15 centimetres.

“It’s on a Sunday so at least we get to enjoy it,” said Madison Jones-Watson, a Port Alberni resident. “We got our motorcycles ready to go out last week so this is unexpected.”

Yesterday, Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings for higher elevations on Vancouver Island.

Campbell River and Comox were among the areas that got the snow but the biggest surprise may have been in the Alberni Valley where it ended up with a winter wallop.

“It was only supposed to snow half of the day yesterday but it started snowing at 8 am and didn’t stop until after sundown,” said Chris Alemany, a weather enthusiast who runs alberniweather.ca.

Alemany says the weight of the snow collapsed a tent in his backyard.

He says snowfall in February isn’t uncommon.

“The later in February we get it certainly is, and it’s been a while since we’ve had something this late of this magnitude.”

It also lead to numerous problems on Highway 4, east of Port Alberni, where motorists got stuck and traffic was, at times, blocked.

“You can see it’s been tearing off limbs of trees. We could hear the forest cracking all night last night. It was pretty crazy,” said Jeff Phillips, a Port Alberni resident.

The snowfall followed by rain also broke lots of branches leading to 18 power outages in the Alberni Valley yesterday leaving more than 11,000 in the dark. All outages have since been restored.

“All I saw this morning was oh it’s 9 degrees in Victoria and I look out and its 15 centimetres of snow so we’ll get the sun eventually,” said Alemany.

It’s another chance for those who love the snow to play in it while others hope this may be the last big dump this winter.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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