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 6:00 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

Ballenas students question Parksville council on city issues

Students grilled council on homelessness, snow removal and the need for more activities for youth

Ballenas students launch fundraiser for U.S. travel to promote science experiment

Students’ experiment headed for International Space Station

Search is on for parties to build $10.7M Bowser sewage project

Further investigation of land disposal option rejected by RDN board

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

RDN dealing with high interest in backyard cannabis production

New policy proposed to address challenges with Health Canada licences

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

Credit card fraud steals $50,000 from Victoria businesses: police

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read