BC Hydro crews prepare to remove a downed tree that snapped a power pole and pulled down power lines across the northbound lanes of Highway 19 in Parksville Tuesday morning, Oct. 17, 2017. — J.R. Rardon photo

Highway 19 reopened in Parksville after nearly six-hour closure

Northbound lanes closed after fallen tree drops hydro lines over roadway

Highway 19 northbound was finally cleared at about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 after a fallen tree snapped a power pole and brought down power lines over the highway in Parksville earlier in the day.

While crews were busy clearing the first incident, more trees came down, according to an update from Drive BC Vancouver Island’s Twitter at 1:03 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 17). Drive BC initially estimated Highway 19 would reopen at noon.

Drive BC tweeted at about 2:15 p.m. saying the incident had been cleared.

The incident began at about 8:30 a.m., following the first major rainfall of the season, when the tree came down just north of the Highway 19A exit near the weigh station south of Parksville. Northbound traffic caught beyond the Highway 19A off-ramp was directed to turn around and proceed down the northbound on-ramp to detour onto Highway 19A.

The inland Island Highway was then closed northbound and traffic was diverted onto 19A, where it quickly backed up. Southbound traffic on Highway 19 has remained unaffected, though traffic has slowed as it passes the site of the downed wire.

BC Hydro had arrived and assessed the scene by 10 a.m. A crew member told The NEWS that workers were ready to begin clearing the tree, but had to wait for clearance that the downed lines were secure.

According to BC Hydro, there were power outages in both the Parksville and Qualicum Beach areas, affecting about 3,000 customers. Both outages have since been resolved.

— NEWS Staff

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Workers surround the fallen tree and hydro pole that appears to be the cause of the closure of Highway 19 northbound near the weigh scale this morning at Parksville. — JR Rardon Photo

Vehicles are being re-directed down the on-ramp of the inland Island Highway near the Parksville weigh scales Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m. Northbound traffic remains jammed, with RCMP turning vehicles around and sending them through the city. — Lauren Collins Photo Lauren Collins Photo Vehicles are being re-directed down the on-ramp of the inland Island Highway near the Parksville weigh scales Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m. Northbound traffic remains jammed, with RCMP turning vehicles around and sending them through the city.

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