A tree crushed a vehicle driving through Cathedral Grove on Tuesday following the first big snowstorm of the season on Vancouver Island. Witnesses said the occupants were unhurt in the accident. PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POTTER

Dozens of trees come down in Cathedral Grove during snowstorm

Tree service workers kept busy trying to keep highway clear

Four employees of Totem Tree Service spent an exhausting day and night earlier this week clearing trees from Highway 4 in Cathedral Grove during the snowstorm that hit Vancouver Island and the south coast.

“We had trees falling over every minute through the Grove [on Tuesday] night,” Totem Tree Service owner Dave Potter said. “It was a really stressful situation for all people. We had to keep our eyes up all the time looking for falling branches breaking off, overhanging the road, trees falling in behind – cracking every second.”

Potter had two crews of two people and two pickup trucks between them working in the grove from 10 a.m. Monday to 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, bucking up trees that fell across the road to keep the highway clear. Totem is a Port Alberni-based company that takes care of dangerous tree removals for Emcon Services, the highway contractor on Vancouver Island.

“We cleared about 60 trees off the roads,” Potter said. “Some were as big as three feet in diameter. The trees were coming down because of the heavy snow load and saturated soil’s first big snow of the year,” he explained.

Potter and his three colleagues worked as fast as they could to get the debris off the road. “For some of the big ones we had the snowplow helping push the logs off the road,” he said.

“In those situations we don’t worry about doing any cleanup other than keeping it clear off the road for the cars and the snowplows.”

The snow played havoc on the hump, especially Monday morning when several semi-trucks got stuck. Numerous accidents were reported on the east side of Vancouver Island as well as Highway 4 both east and west of Port Alberni.

More snow is in the forecast.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Fire official deems morning fire at Nanaimo school suspicious

Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguishes fire at portable at École Océane

Nanaimo hotel tax set to go up

Hospitality association lays out five-year plan for tourism in Nanaimo

Tour de Rock ready to start making its way down Vancouver Island

Tour de Rock takes place Sept. 21 to Oct. 4

Public meeting will explore ideas to battle addiction and crime in Nanaimo

Organizers call for treatment centres, accountability for crimes, citizens’ task force

VIU students empowered to ‘shift the vote’ this election

VIU Students’ Union, B.C. Federation of Students launch ‘Our Time is Now’ campaign

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo athletes earn gold, silver, bronze at 55-Plus B.C. Games

Huge contingent of local participants competed in largest-ever 55-Plus B.C. Games in Kelowna

Nanaimo beekeepers take down nest of giant hornets

One nest eradicated at Robins Park, but there are still Asian giant hornets around

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Most Read