Storm hits hard as 5,000 across Cowichan Valley lose electricity

Ferries and flights were delayed in Nanaimo and Victoria, and countless customers left without power after a weekend storm walloped the east coast of Vancouver Island.

In Cowichan, nearly 5,000 customers were left in the dark at various times between the evening of Saturday, Feb. 15 and throughout the following day.

Aside from a car crash, which knocked out the juice to a handful of customers near the Catalyst’s Crofton mill on Sunday morning, wind was naturally the cause of the bulk of the local outages as trees falling across wires and blown out transformers did their damage in all corners of the region. Residents of Duncan’s Cairnsmore area reported hearing a bang as one transformer went out Saturday night.

“The strongest winds occurred between midnight and 3 a.m.,” said David Wray of Environment Canada. He said the long-range forecast shows similar storms may be on the horizon.

“We popped on and off a number of times #gratefulforwoodstove,” wrote Duncan’s Leigh Davies on the Citizen’s Facebook page.

At least one Cowichan resident took the storm in stride.

“Played cards by candlelight,” wrote Cathy Craft. “Nice evening with the family without the TV!”