UPDATED: Weekend windstorm leaves mark on Mission

Downed trees and power lines were widespread following Saturday's storm, resulting in power outages throughout the community

  • Mon Aug 31st, 2015 5:00pm
  • News

Gardener Sandie Zdunich rakes up fallen branches at Fraser River Heritage Park on Monday morning.

by Frank Bucholtz, Mission City Record

Saturday’s fierce windstorm left its mark on Mission, with downed trees and power lines, and widespread power outages which were still being sorted out Monday morning.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, there were 28 separate outages in Mission remaining to be fixed. They affected about 1,000 BC Hydro customers.

Many of the outages were in rural areas of the District of Mission, and there were a few scattered small outages in areas in Fraser Valley Regional District to the east. According to BC Hydro’s website, most Mission customers were not expected to get power back until late Monday night.

The largest number of customers affected were east of Powell and west of Dewdney Trunk in northern Mission. There were 326 customers affected by that outage. Another 123 were impacted in an area south of Keystone and the Cedar Ridge Golf Course. There were numerous small outages near Keystone and also near Dewdney Trunk, in the heavily forested northern and western portions of the district.

Another 85 customers northwest of Cardinal were also without power as of Monday morning.

Closer into town, 282 customers were without power in an area bounded by Egglestone, Ptarmigan, Buffalo and Cedar. In addition, 28 commercial customers on the south side of Lougheed Highway, in the 32500 block, were without power Monday morning.

Another 182 customers were affected by an outage near Loftus and Silverdale Avenue.

Many trees came down in the windstorm, and this was a major reason for the numerous outages. As of Monday morning, BC Hydro was still working to restore power to just under 50,000 customers on the Lower Mainland and the Sunshine Coast. Crews were dealing with 611 separate outages.

By Tuesday morning, there were just six outages left to repair in Mission.

The largest was in the area north of Galliford Street, east of Barrett Street, south of Townshipline Avenue and west of Vickery Street. BC Hydro said just under 5,000 customers in the Lower Mainland were still without power.

Hydro said that, at the peak on Saturday, 13,446 Mission customers were without power. That number was down to 4,932 by Sunday and 1,432 by Monday.

Crews were able to restore power to over half of its customers by Sunday afternoon.

At Fraser River Heritage Park, work was underway Monday to clean up many downed branches. A portion of an ancient broadleaf maple tree also fell in the park, narrowly missing some newly-planted trees in the iconic Mission park.

Truckloads of downed branches, mostly from cottonwood trees, were being hauled away.

The District of Mission had eight workers out on Saturday and Sunday to deal with problems caused by the windstorm. They were kept busy dealing with numerous downed trees, many of which blocked roads. They had to be careful in areas where trees brought down live power lines. This prevented them from doing immediate clean-ups in some cases.

Matt Dunham, operations manager for public works, said that “at least a dozen roads” were closed on Saturday due to downed trees and power lines.

On Monday night, renewed winds brought down trees on Richards Road, closing it until the fallen trees could be removed.

(Photos below by Frank Bucholtz. Top photo: A truckload of fallen branches is hauled away at Fraser River Heritage Park on Monday morning. Bottom photo: A portion of a giant maple fell over at Heritage Park in Saturday’s windstorm, narrowly missing several newly-planted trees.)