Wet and windy weather hammers coast

Power outages, fallen trees left in wake of first major storm of the fall season

Power outages and fallen trees marked the first big storm of the season to hit Victoria, as more than 22 millimetres of rain and intense wind gusts pounded the Capital Region over the weekend.

Seven trees were reported damaged or down overnight from the wind, while City of Victoria public works crews dealt with limited pooling on roadways, said spokeswoman Katie Hamilton.

“The majority of leaves haven’t fallen yet, which is helpful to ensuring drains aren’t blocked,” she said. “However, when the leaves haven’t fallen, there is greater concern for the trees themselves.”

More than 100 homes were without power Monday morning in Rockland and Gonzales neighbourhoods, a result of falling branches on power lines. Province-wide, B.C. Hydro dealt with outages to more than 3,700 homes.

Victoria Police spokesman Bowen Osoko said one car was damaged by a fallen tree in the 400-block of Montreal St., but there were no injuries or other abnormal accidents reported due to the weather.

Our Place Society operated as an emergency shelter over the weekend and kept 43 people out of the rain overnight Sunday, said Grant McKenzie, communications director.

“The hard rains came down and we felt it was important to provide that space,” he said.

In Oak Bay, a woman was trapped in her truck Saturday afternoon in the 900-block of Foul Bay Rd. when live hydro wires fell onto the vehicle.

Fire crews secured the scene and reassured her until B.C. Hydro was able to shut off the power, said Oak Bay fire captain Ken Gill.

“We want to emphasize to people to always treat downed lines like they are live. Never approach them, stay clear because there is a high potential for the risk of shock,” Gill said.

Environment Canada reports show the storm stayed further north than expected, but peak wind gusts of 76 km/h were still recorded at the Gonzales weather station. Gusts of 81 km/h were recorded at Swartz Bay ferry terminal, closing all ferry traffic from 3 p.m. onwards Sunday. B.C. Ferries ran extra sailings Monday to clear the backlog of travellers.

The forecast this weekend remains wet and dreary with a 60 per cent chance of showers.