Strong winds from a Pacific storm moving through southwestern B.C. on Saturday afternoon cut off power to more than 300,000 customers in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.
About half a million BC Hydro customers went without power at the storm’s peak, with many losing service for days on end. In Abbotsford, power was interrupted to 29,392 customers, and over 800 were still without service by Monday evening. In Mission, the peak number without power was 13,446, with 1,432 still without electricity by Aug. 31. The storm left strewn branches and inoperative traffic lights causing confusion for motorists. Gusts of wind were strong enough to knock down large trees. Environment Canada says the storm was the worst in nearly a decade, with wind gusting to a speed of 94 kilometres per hour at Abbotsford Airport on Saturday afternoon.
Roads currently still closed in the Abbotsford area are Harris Rd. from Mt. Lehman Rd. to Bates Rd., Sumas Mountain Rd. from Ward Rd. to McKee Rd., and Myrtle Ave. from Bradner Rd. to Lefeuvre Rd.. Seventeen road closures occurred over the weekend before debris could be cleared.
Abbotsford police responded to over 130 storm-related incidents in the 36-hour period, according to Abbotsford Police Department information officer Ian MacDonald.
Traffic was heavy throughout the city, and many businesses were closed and dark. Strong winds continued until late Saturday afternoon, with some relief coming in the evening. According to a wind warning from Environment Canada, gusts were strong enough to toss loose objects and damage outdoor structures.
For ongoing information and to report your own experience of the storm and outage, please visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/myabbynews.
For Mission residents, please visit facebook.com/MissionRecord to report your outage and power restored areas.
Here are some images of the damage caused by the storm submitted by our readers:
(1) Scattered branches on Maclure Road between Clearbrook Road and Old Yale Road. Submitted by Dean Hutchison.
(2) Branches litter the yard of an Abbotsford house. Submitted by Sabreena Grewal.
(3) Downed branches damage a yard shed. Submitted by Taylor Shareski.
(4) A wedding tent in the Clayburn Village area damaged by wind. Submitted by Everose Witt.