Traffic on the Malahat portion of the Trans-Canada Highway was closed in both directions Tuesday as crews cleaned up debris and dropped trees that posed a threat of collapse in Goldstream Provincial Park.

Wind warning persists for Vancouver Island’s south coast into this evening

Tuesday gusts close highway on both ends of the Island, current warning repeated only for Juan de Fuca area

  • Dec. 20, 2016 4:00 p.m.

Gusting winds toppled trees which closed the main highway on both ends of Vancouver Island this morning.

Environment Canada repeated a wind warning for the Strait of Juan de Fuca late this afternoon, after a similar warning for the south, north and west coasts of the Island was issued Tuesday morning in advance of winds that in some areas gusted between 70 and 110 kilometres per hour.

“Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring,” the warning — issued at about 3:30 p.m. — said. “Strong westerly winds 70 gusting to 100 km/h have developed in Juan de Fuca Strait today in the wake of a low that moved into the BC Interior. The winds will diminish early this evening.

“Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage.”

The warning came in the wake of a rough morning where one person is reported to have minor injuries after their vehicle was struck by a falling tree in Goldstream Provincial Park.

Traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway was closed in both directions for roughly two hours before crews were able to clear northbound lanes. Southbound lanes reopened shortly afterward at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Crews were busy clearing the debris from the roadway and falling other trees that posed a threat.

Winds also closed Highway 19 yesterday morning between Port Hardy and Port McNeill, and plunged parts of several North Island communities into darkness.

According to the Port McNeill RCMP office, winds knocked down trees near Orca Sand and Gravel, located between Port Hardy and Port McNeill, blocking the highway and taking power lines down with them impacting about 250 residences and some businesses.

In the south Island about 14,000 customers were affected by scattered outages across the region. According to BC Hydro, the effects were felt less along the east coast, with intermittent outages. Parksville was the community hardest hit with about 1,600 outages.

Winds diminished for all regions early yesterday afternoon as the low moved inland and weakened.

The wind wasn’t the only weapon Mother Nature was hurling at humanity.

Comox Valley RCMP are urging drivers to slow down following seven motor vehicle incidents in two-and-a-half hours Tuesday morning. One was a collision requiring medical attention, police confirm.

While the road appear to be wet with temperatures being just below freezing, there was black ice on many roads and highways in the area.

Police add a good rule of thumb in weather conditions such as this is if drivers don’t have to be on the road, stay home until temperatures rise and road conditions improve.

“At this time the Ministry of Highways is contemplating closing some roadways until conditions improve,” said Comox Valley RCMP Insp. Tim Walton Tuesday morning.  “… at this time Highway 19 north of Horne Lake and south of Cooke Creek is closed due to treacherous road conditions.”

Freezing rain that settled onto roadways as black ice wreaked havoc also plagued the Parksville area, with Oceanside RCMP logging more than a dozen motor vehicle incident calls from Monday morning through Tuesday morning.

“It definitely created dangerous driving conditions,” Oceanside RCMP spokesperson Jesse Foreman said Tuesday morning, when police, fire rescue and ambulance crews responded to at least six incidents in the local area.

He said the detachment attended another seven accident scenes Monday morning, after overnight rain on the heels of a weeklong cold snap left a sheen of ice coating roads, sidewalks and other surfaces.

 

Just Posted

Free blood type tattoo with donation draws crowds in Finland

One in two people is eligible and able to donate blood, but only one in 60 people actually do

Greater Victoria enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Esquimalt puts freeze on taxes for local businesses

The tax increase for residents sits at 5.51 per cent, averaging to an additional $46

Bitter Saturna land-use dispute highlights legal grey areas

Unhappy Tsawout accuse leadership of cultural destruction

Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

The new Unity Commons Development will take over the space at 1303 Fairfield Rd.

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Most Read