A wild wind storm kept Greater Victoria fire departments and B.C. Hydro busy Monday morning as they scrambled to keep up with damage and power outages.
Winds ranging from 70 to 100 kilometres per hour pounded Vancouver Island as a low pressure centre swept toward the Mainland.
B.C. Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk said Greater Victoria in general got hit hard, but the West Shore may have been spared somewhat due to wind direction.
“It just depends how the wind blows,” said Olynyk. “A lot of times it’ll come in off the west coast, this time it came in from the east coast of the Island.”
For the West Shore, Langford had the worst of it as the fire department responded to seven calls. Langford fire Chief Bob Beckett said the most unusual call came from Richlock Rentals on Jacklin Road, where the wind had been blowing down extended scissor lifts in the business’s lot.
Fire, RCMP and bylaw officers attended to cordon off traffic as a crane was brought it to right fallen equipment.
“It’s been busy — crazy busy actually,” said Beckett. “This is probably the worst so far this year. We had lots of wind warnings but this certainly hit us pretty hard this morning.”
Colwood fire Chief Russell Cameron said his area had been relatively untouched, compared to other municipalities. Crews responded to a transformer arcing at the corner of Sooke Road and Metchosin Road at 6:30 a.m. and to branches that had fallen on lines at Royal Roads University.
“Everybody else is getting paged out constantly,” said Cameron. “We’re lucky.”
Highlands also fared well with fire Chief Guy Brisebois reporting no calls for wind related incidents Monday morning.
View Royal had one call for a tree across a power line on Hart Road that blew some fuses and caused some outages. Firefighters made sure the area was safe and then left it to B.C. Hydro.
Metchosin Volunteer Fire Department had calls to power lines down on Duke Road near Metchosin Road, where B.C. Hydro also reported a small number of power outages. Other than that, Metchosin Chief Stephanie Dunlop said there had been no other calls.
As of 9 a.m. B.C. Hydro was reporting a few power outages on the West Shore. Weather was being blamed for 101 homes out of power in Metchosin west of Albert Head Road and east of Metchosin Road. A few minor power outages were also reported in Langford, Colwood, View Royal and Highlands.
Downtown Victoria and Saanich were harder hit by the storms. As of 11 a.m. about 600 homes and businesses in the downtown area were without power, the majority in the area west of Beacon Hill Park and southeast of Government Street. In Saanich B.C. Hydro reported about 13,500 homes without power throughout the region related to the wind storm.