While the winds have died down for now, the debris they carried throughout the weekend still lays scattered across some of the West Shore. It was that debris that led one bylaw officer to have a close call.
A City of Langford bylaw enforcement officer was out in the area of Humpback and Sawyer roads on Sunday when he noticed an orange glow coming from the trees at the B.C. Hydro access road. While investigating this glow, he realized there was a tree down on power lines which had caught fire.
According to the City, either the tree or the high voltage lines exploded, causing the lines to break away from the power pole. A high voltage line landed on the hood of the City vehicle while the bylaw officer was inside and rolled off towards the front.
Since the vehicle was mounted with a push guard, the officer couldn’t be sure if the line had rolled to the ground or was still in contact with the vehicle.
Deciding not to take any chances, he stayed in the vehicle until help arrived, especially since he could feel what he described as a “tingling” sensation running through the vehicle.
West Shore RCMP and BC Hydro crews arrived to shut off the power so the officer could safely exit the scene.
Director of engineering, Michelle Mahovlich, confirmed he was not injured.
She noted the rest of storm damaged over the weekend was relatively routine with the exception of a power surge that caused some damage to the traffic signal at Jacklin Road and Jenkins Avenue.
“It does need some parts ordered,” she said. In the meantime, the light is still operational.
The power surge seemed to be limited to Jacklin Road, and Mahovlich said it didn’t seem to affect the West Shore Town Centre. The cause of the power surge is unknown.
B.C. Hydro crews were busy over the weekend with outages being reported across the Island.
Roughly 11,500 West Shore customers lost power between Friday and Sunday. Most of those outages were attributed to the wind storm or trees down on lines. By Monday morning power had been restored to all West Shore residents, with the exception of scheduled outages for maintenance.
In Colwood, City crews also had their hands full.
Ocean Boulevard, along the Esquimalt Lagoon, remained closed Monday morning as engineers assessed the impact of the weekend’s storm on the roadway and the bridge.
Sandra Russell, Colwood communications manager, said the bridge only sustained surface damage despite many logs crashing through with high tides and high winds. She added that some minor repairs were scheduled for later in the day.
City crews also found the roadway to be intact and most of the parking was being returned to normal use as part of the final cleanup process that took place Monday morning.
Russell noted that public works crews were busy cleaning the road, grading shoulders and trying to re-establish the shoulder on the Lagoon side of the roadway.
Due to a combination of king tides and strong storm surges, Ocean Boulevard was closed on Thursday (Dec. 10) for a period of time during high tide, with other closures occurring on Saturday, Sunday and into Monday.
Surging waves and debris posed a danger of washing over the roadway, causing a safety risk for motorists and other road users.
Ocean Boulevard reopened to traffic at around 3 p.m. on Monday.