“I’d venture to say it was probably our busiest day ever. Busiest 17 hours ever.”
That’s how Mission Fire Rescue Service assistant chief Blaine Odenbach described last Thursday’s windstorm that sent trees toppling across Mission and the rest of the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.
“We went to an awful lot of calls. From our records, we attended some 59 calls,” said Odenbach.
The first wind-related call came in at 10:40 p.m. on Wednesday (March 9), and the last call, regarding downed hydro lines, came in on March 10 at 4:46 p.m.
Despite several toppled trees and power outages, Odenbach said there was no significant damage done and no reports of injuries during the storm that saw winds gust up to 90 km/h.
While the calls ended for the fire department, once the storm passed, Mission public works was still receiving calls regarding damage and road blockages.
Matt Dunham, operations manager of public works, said about 18 staff members were dealing with calls all day Thursday.
“We got 70 calls logged here in the office that day,” he said.
Forty of those calls were for blockages or partial blockages of roadways because of fallen trees.
As of Wednesday of this week, crews were still working on cleaning up the mess left behind.
“We are still getting calls. There are still bits and pieces that people are just noticing now,” said Dunham.
This was the biggest windstorm in Mission since Aug. 29, 2015, when public works recorded 48 job orders for fallen trees and lines. It cost approximately $50,000 for the cleanup.
The total amount spent on storm cleanup in 2015 was just under $100,000.
It is not yet known how much the aftermath of the latest storm will cost.
The storm knocked out power to more than 2,500 Mission homes.
BC Hydro crews responded quickly. However, some homes were left without power for almost two days.