A tree fell on a vehicle that had four occupants in it on Springhill Road during Thursday’s storm. No one inside the vehicle was injured according to Langford Fire Rescue. (Rick Stiebel/News staff)

Many still without power on the West Shore after Thursday’s storm

Storm debris scattered on roads and sidewalks

Thursday’s storm that slammed Vancouver Island with strong winds and heavy rains left thousands of people on the West Shore without power and many are still waiting for it to come back on.

Langford Fire Chief Chris Aubrey said he hasn’t seen a day like that in “several years.”

Aubrey said the local dispatch centre processed more 170 emergency calls in a 10-hour period on Thursday, many of which were responses to downed power lines as well as trees and branches that fell on power lines.

In Langford alone, 17 emergency calls were made to the fire department which is much more than an average day of five or six calls.

Langford Fire also responded to an incident on Thursday where a tree fell on a vehicle with four occupants in it on Springhill Road. The four individuals did not need medical attention, according to Aubrey.

“It was a scary experience and we’re fortunate it wasn’t more serious than it was,” Aubrey said.

As of Friday morning, the vehicle and tree still hadn’t been cleared.

READ MORE: Two-sailing wait after windstorm cancels 130 BC Ferries sailings

READ MORE: Iconic Garry Oak tree felled by windstorm in Saanichton

The Colwood Fire Department was also kept busy Thursday and responded to approximately 15 calls, as opposed to about two calls a day which is closer to their norm.

Both departments said there were moments Thursday where they were responding to multiple calls at the same time as well but teamwork and patience from community members helped them make sure people were safe.

On Friday morning, tree branches could be seen littered in West Shore neighbourhoods and the Royal Colwood Golf Course tweeted that it would be closed for the day for “cleanup and a safety assessment.”

The tweet also noted there are “massive amounts of debris and hangers in trees.” The golf course closed Thursday afternoon due to high winds and falling branches.

The Westhills YMCA-YWCA remains without power as of Friday afternoon and according to the website, is closed. Phones for all YMCA-YWCA facilities are also down.

According to the BC Hydro outage map, several areas on the West Shore are still without power as of Friday afternoon. An alert on BC Hydro’s website says “due to the extent of damage, many customers will be without power throughout the day and for some customers it could be a couple of days.”

About 150 customers in Colwood were still experiencing outages as of Friday afternoon. In Langford, about 1,400 customers still didn’t have power and about 1,200 customers in Highlands are dealing with outages too, according to the map.

In the Metchosin and Sooke areas, there are about 535 affected customers and close to 300 in View Royal.

BC Hydro said “all available crews will be working until the remaining customers are restored.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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