Windstorm cuts swath of damage through Cowichan

A massive windstorm knocked out power to much of Duncan and the Cowichan Valley Thursday morning, with trees crashing to the ground causing traffic snarls and serious damage to homes.

"Definitely our Duncan area was the hardest hit," said Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers. "The situation can change from moment to moment."

A tree crashed down on a house on Coronation Avenue. Another fell on the Silver Bridge heading out of Duncan, on top of a car, while there were also reports of one down across the train tracks in the Allenby Road area.

Volunteer fire department personnel scrambled to reach firehalls as they were called out to wind-related incidents as traffic lights winked out, adding to the congestion.

Power outages hit at least 26,000 BC Hydro customers from Duncan to Lake Cowichan, as a major transmission line to Lake Cowichan went down.

BC Hydro crews were concentrating on that line as noon came, said Louwers, as once that was back up it would restore power to a significant number of people.

At least 35,000 people from Duncan to south Nanaimo were out of power, with another 2,000 on the Gulf Islands, as branches and trees came down across lines.

Valley residents took to Facebook to describe the mayhem. One Shawnigan resident said "the trees are being whipped about like tall grass", while North Cowichan election candidate Maeve Maguire noted that election signs were blowing all over the place.

In the Rotary Park area along the Cowichan River, loud snaps could be heard as enormous branches fell out of the cottonwoods, often landing just metres away from dog walkers.

Duncan Fire Chief Mike McKinlay, at the scene where the tree had toppled on to the Coronation Avenue house, said that his fire hall was one of many that were extremely busy with at least three major calls before noon, while the South End and Cowichan Bay departments were equally occupied.

Just Posted

North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame nominations open

Nominations are open for the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame class… Continue reading

Short-staffed Cowichan Red Arrow fends off JDF

Outnumbered but not outgunned, Cowichan Red Arrow edged out the Juan de… Continue reading

Stakeholders need to ante up more cash to run Lake Cowichan visitors centre: chamber

Increasing costs like wages must be there in black and white for negotiating process

FLASHBACK COLUMN: A possible child thief, abandonment of the CNR rail line, amalgamation on the front burner

The idea of sliding a child through a small space to help with a burglary shocked folks in 1994

Chris Wilkinson column: Nutrition key to you health goals

The Dieticians of Canada have named March Nutrition Month 2019.

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Coming up in Cowichan: World Water Day

Shawnigan Lake marks World Water Day Got clean local water? “The ability… Continue reading

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read