Windstorm whacks Valley

At its peak, about 8,500 Cowichan Valley residents were without power

At its peak, about 8,500 Cowichan Valley residents were without power over the weekend thanks to a windstorm that swept through southern British Columbia.

Though the Valley was hit hard in some areas, it was nothing like what Victoria and the Lower Mainland saw, said BC Hydro Spokesman Ted Olynyk.

“Compared to Vancouver, we were pretty fortunate,” he said.

At the peak (around 2 p.m. on Saturday), 34,000 customers were without power on Vancouver Island.

Victoria was the hardest hit with about 11,000 left in the dark, but another 8,500 in the Cowichan Valley were also affected, he said.

Residents of Shawnigan Lake, Lake Cowichan, Herd Road and Gibbins Road areas were worst off.

The main cause of the outages was the wind blowing branches onto the lines.

By 5 p.m. Saturday, Hydro crews managed to restore power to about 4,500 residents.

“By the end of the day we were down to about 300,” Olynyk said.

With the leaves turning colour and the foul weather picking up, some wonder if storm season has arrived.

“It’s not supposed to start for another two months,” Olynyk said. “This was just a blip. We had a few storm lows finding their way down from the Aleutians in Alaska that came together and caused us some grief.”