Sudden storm hits central Vancouver Island causing flash floods, downed trees, power outages

Sudden storm hits central Vancouver Island causing flash floods, downed trees, power outages
WatchA fast-moving storm system drenched Campbell River and parts of the Comox Valley last night. There was a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast for that part of the Island, but nothing like the flash floods and damaging high winds that ripped through the region.

A sudden weather event hit central Vancouver Island late Saturday afternoon.

A storm with powerful wind and rain hit the communities of Campbell River and the Comox Valley and caused flash floods, downed trees and power outages for more 800 people.

“The heavens just opened,” said Catherine Oliver, a Nanaimo resident who was visiting Campbell River. “Cars in places, it was up to their headlamps.”

Oliver described vehicles getting stuck in the deep water, having to wait for a fire truck to help them leave the flooded streets.

Meanwhile in the Comox Valley, Karen Eigler said she saw the storm coming and said it wasn’t something she had ever seen before.

“I’d never seen wind like that and the rain and I’ve been here since ’67,” said Eigler.

The storm caused a tree to fall on her daughter’s trailer where she lives on Eigler’s property.

The power winds knocked the power out for more than 700 people in the Dove Creek area, according to the BC Hydro outage map.

“We did see significant damage as a result of trees down,” said Karla Louwers of BC Hydro. “Courtenay District was one of those where we had multiple spans of power lines down and crews had to make significant repairs before they were able to restore power.”

Downed trees caused power outages for more that 800 people. (Karen Eigler)

Outages in the Comox Valley and Campbell River included:

  • East of Courtenay, North of Highway 19A, 105 affected
  • South of Headquarters Road, East of Duncan Bay Main in Dove Creek, 710 affected
  • Northeast of Brewster Lake near Campbell River, less than five affected
  • 11 people have been affected on Quadra Island

Many customers lost power between 4:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. Sunday.

READ MORE: Lightning sparks new fires as thunderstorms add to danger in B.C.’s Interior

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Justin WaddellJustin Waddell
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