Storm turns out the lights
Nearly 9,000 Tri-City residents woke up without power Tuesday morning after a heavy storm blasted the Lower Mainland overnight.
In Coquitlam, six different outages from Dawes Hill Road to the east side of Westwood Plateau left about 6,600 homes in the dark.
Foster Avenue was closed briefly after a tree came down from the Vancouver Golf Club but it was reopen again by 7 a.m. One lane off Craigen Avenue was expected to remain closed because of a downed tree until BC Hydro could clear the wires, said Dan Mooney, Coquitlam’s manager of roads and traffic operations.
Morning commuters got held up at 20 dark traffic signals at minor intersections. Mooney said additional lights were out along the Lougheed Highway corridor, Mariner Way at Como Lake Avenue, and David Avenue but those were running on back-up battery systems.
A two-vehicle accident at Robson Drive and Pinetree Way resulted in injuries serious enough that emergency responders were considering bringing in a helicopter. “Please, everyone, obey the four-way stops at signals that are dark,” Mooney said.
Coquitlam staff also reported four water pump stations and three sewer pump stations were running on generators to prevent any interruption in service. One portable generator had to be delivered to the Coleman sewer station to keep things running smoothly; the other stations all have built-in generators.
Mooney also asked residents to check drains and catch basins in front of their homes and clear leaves to keep rainwater from pooling on roads.
About 1,800 residents on Port Moody’s north shore, as well as some in Belcarra and Anmore, lost power. City spokesperson Leslyn Johnson said there were no trees that came down but recreation centre lights were out Tuesday morning.
As well, eight elementary schools, one middle school and Dr. Charles Best secondary were without power Tuesday morning, although it was to be restored by noon. Parents were asked to make alternate arrangements for their children until the lights came back on.
“It was a pretty good windstorm that rattled through here last night,” said David Jones of Environment Canada. Between Point Atkinson in West Vancouver and Abbotsford, winds gusted between 75 and 85 km/h.
BC Hydro was estimating power would be back on throughout the Tri-Cities by about 1 p.m. Tuesday.