At least two homes on Verte Place suffered damage when several trees were felled by heavy winds. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

At least two homes on Verte Place suffered damage when several trees were felled by heavy winds. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Winds whip up havoc across Nanaimo region

Heavy winds knock down power poles and trees, block roads and damage structures Thursday

Blown-down trees blocked roads, tore down power lines to cause outages, and damaged homes across the Nanaimo region as a powerful storm blew in Thursday.

Power outages were widespread, knocking out traffic signals that, along with felled trees, caused major traffic backups around intersections on the city’s main arterial routes.

Emergency services and B.C. Hydro repair crews were overwhelmed with calls and scrambled from one incident to the next trying to keep up back to back emergencies.

On Rutherford Road, one man was trapped in his work van when a live power line fell on it.

Dean Doehring admitted he was a bit nervous because he was unsure initially what had fallen on his vehicle. He then had to wait inside it for nearly one hour before B.C. Hydro crews could respond.

“It’s almost an hour now,” Doehring said, moments after crews freed the power line from his van. “But, I mean, look what these guys have to contend with.”

Doehring said he could hear the wire winding up on the van’s roof rack as he drove up Rutherford Road to buy fuel at a convenience store on Uplands Drive.

“I heard a winding on my rack and then I started slowing down, so I put my brakes on,” he said. “But I wasn’t slowing me down, the wire was slowing me down.”

No one was injured in the incident, but powerful wind gusts tore at surrounding fir trees, throwing large branches and other debris across the road as hydro crews worked to free the vehicle and shut down power.

RELATED: One person dead after tree falls on them in B.C. storm

RELATED: All of Gabriola Island without power as winds bluster

There were numerous reports of trees blown down on homes. On Verte Place, located between Boban Drive and Jingle Pot Road, several homes were damaged by falling trees.

Candice Moran said her home was hit and damaged by trees for the second time in a week. She and her partner were still dealing with the damage to their home’s roof and back porch when it was hit by another tree.

Tauri Vandoorn and Stephen Brown, a family friend, were in her dining room wrapping Christmas presents and having some lunch when a tree crashed through the ceiling and caused extensive extensive structural damage. Vandoorn and most of her neighbours, fearing for their safety, evacuated their homes.

“Bang, crash and then the window breaking and then I screamed and Stephen ran to the other side of the table,” Vandoorn said. “My dog ran outside the house. It was loud. Super scary. You expect to be safe in your home.”

Vandoorn and her neighbours blame the removal of a stand of trees they say protected the trees that fell on their home from winds. She and neighbours said they’d lived on Verte Place for more than 10 years and never had prior problems with storms blowing down trees.

B.C. Ferries sailings between the Island and Lower Mainland were cancelled for most of the day.

RELATED: More than 300,000 without power at one point due to B.C. wind storm



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A power line recoils as B.C. Hydro workers cut it free from a work van’s roof rack it became entangled on after heavy winds knocked it down Thursday. Dean Goehring, the driver, was trapped in the vehicle by the live wire for almost one hour before hydro crews could respond to the scene. CHRIS BUSH/ The News Bulletin

A power line recoils as B.C. Hydro workers cut it free from a work van’s roof rack it became entangled on after heavy winds knocked it down Thursday. Dean Goehring, the driver, was trapped in the vehicle by the live wire for almost one hour before hydro crews could respond to the scene. CHRIS BUSH/ The News Bulletin

Firefighters and a resident survey a downed power pole on Sloan Road. Multiple incidents of downed poles on roads snarled traffic and cut power to wide areas of Nanaimo. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Firefighters and a resident survey a downed power pole on Sloan Road. Multiple incidents of downed poles on roads snarled traffic and cut power to wide areas of Nanaimo. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP report that a number of scams, many of them familiar, have recently resurfaced in Nanaimo and cost victims thousands of dollars. (File photo)
Nanaimo man scammed after lending money and receiving fake gold jewelry in return

RCMP provide details of several recent scams to warn the public

A memorial to former Abbotsford and RCMP police officer Shinder Kirk in Cedar, B.C. Kirk died in a car accident on Cedar Road in December 2018. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Trial begins in Nanaimo for man involved in car crash that killed retired police sergeant

RCMP accident reconstructionist takes stand in trial of Conrad Nikolaus Wetten

Next week Nanaimo singer Laura Kelsey is releasing her new single A Foolish Thing and its accompanying music video. (Video still courtesy Greg Nuspel)
Nanaimo singer joined by wolf, dancers in new music video

‘A Foolish Thing’ is Laura Kelsey’s first professionally made single in seven years

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

Two semi trucks collided on the Nanaimo Parkway just north of Northfield Road on Wednesday morning, May 5. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: Semi truck driver now in stable condition following this week’s crash on Nanaimo Parkway

RCMP repeat call for any dashcam footage around 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

Garden centre manager Jack Olszewski and Chris Beaudoin say business has grown by 50 per cent at the Sooke Home Hardware Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
Flower power: COVID restrictions fuel bloom boom on Vancouver Island’

More people seeking flowers to add colour, says Sooke landscaper

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read