Saanich parks and public works crews are cleaning up the aftermath of an intense storm that felled about 21 trees over the weekend and flooded dozens of roadways on Monday.
Saanich public works manager Mike Ippen said at least 70 roadways experienced flooding on Monday due to debris blocking stormwater catch basins. Water flooded a few basements, but the pools mainly formed on roadways around plugged drains, he said.
“There was a lot of rain in south Saanich on Monday. Most of the calls came from that,” Ippen said. “(The storm) wasn’t that big, but it was a lot of rain in a short period of time.”
Saanich parks manager Rae Roer said about 21 trees – six on private land and 15 on public property – have gone down, their trunks either snapped or roots pulled from the earth from the pounding wind and rain. Another 30 calls came in about limbs and branches blocking roads and snagging power lines.
A resident reported a tree damaged their shed, but otherwise the municipality suffered little property damage.
“It’s been a busy time for our guys going out in the torrential rain, but they’re happy to see the sunshine today and to get caught up,” Roer said. “But because of the sunshine we expect to get a flurry of calls from people getting out into the parks and trails again.”
Roer noted that homeowners with damaged or possibly dangerous trees on their property should consult the district or an arborist, and that permits need to be in place before felling protected trees.
People walking in forested areas also need to be mindful of dangerous, half-fallen trees snagged in branches, and to report suspected danger trees to Saanich parks (250-475-5522) or CRD parks (250-478-3344) if in a regional park.
Waterfront neighbourhoods of Cordova Bay, Gordon Head and Ten Mile Point suffered the most wind damage, but Roer said calls came from across the municipality.
“It was a substantial event. It came early in the year,” he said. “We always get some challenges in the winter, but in terms of storms this was a good one. Hopefully this is it for the year.”
The weekend storm wasn’t as damaging or as powerful as the infamous and record storm of the winter of 2006, but it dumped substantial amounts of rain over a few days.
The weather station at Colquitz middle school registered 40 mm of rain on Sunday, a record for September since measurements began in 2006. Monday saw 30 mm of rain, which at times dumped down at 10 mm per hour and wind hit gusts of 70 km/h in the Colquitz area.
Across the municipality, the weather station at Cedar Hill middle school registered 30 mm of rain on both Sunday and Monday (also a September record since 2005), with each of those days experiencing bursts of 5 mm of rain per hour.
Saanich homeowners with damaged or dangerous trees due to the storm should check out saanich.ca/parkrec/parks/trees/storms.html.