Powerful winds topple trees as spring storm sweeps Vancouver Island

A massive tree was felled by strong winds at Burnside Road and Finlayson Street in Victoria Monday, April 4, 2022.

Strong winds toppled trees and took out power across the Capital Region as a storm swept the South Island Monday.

As of Monday afternoon, power remained out for more than 19,000 BC Hydro customers. Winds of up to 70 kilometres an hour, with gusts of up to 90 km/h, were still expected to hit Greater Victoria through Tuesday morning.

Massive trees fell in Saanich and Colwood as well as Victoria at Burnside Road and Finlayson Street, and a number of trees were also reported down in Duncan and on the Southern Gulf Islands.

BC Hydro said as it dispatched crews to deal with outages caused by the storm, it expected power would be back for most customers on the Gulf Islands within the day, though residents in Musgrave Landing on Salt Spring Island would likely be without electricity overnight due to its remote location.

The outages came after Environment Canada issued wind warnings for parts of Vancouver Island amid the spring storm.

Warnings were issued for Greater Victoria and western Vancouver Island. On the west coast of the island, winds of 80 kilometres an hour with gusts of up to 100 km/h were expected late Monday morning and to gradually ease overnight.

The weather comes thanks to a low-pressure system sweeping the region and Environment Canada warns that wind could kick up high waves and dangerous storm surges on the west coast of the island.

“Higher than normal water run-up is expected on beaches and low-lying shoreline. Keep away from large logs on the beach,” said Environment Canada. “Water running up on the beach can easily lift or roll logs which can injure someone caught in their path.”

The wild waves, which triggered an advisory in Pacific Rim National Park, still brought out stormwatchers near Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Monday, some of whom could be seen venturing far out onto the rocks.

Amphritite Point in UclueletWind churned up wild waves at Ucluelet’s Amphritite Point Monday, April 4, 2022. (CHEK News)

In Greater Victoria, residents — especially those living near the Juan de Fuca Strait and Victoria Harbour — were asked to be aware of the risk of tree limbs breaking and the potential of loose objects to get tossed around.

“Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions due to high winds,” Environment Canada said in its warning.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island spring expected to have unpredictable weather patterns


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