At one point four work crews were busy repairing damage from the storm on Phoenix Avenue. Photo by John Boivin

Emergency crews work to restore Rossland utilities after powerful windstorm

The brief but destructive storm blew through the city on Friday afternoon

Emergency crews were busy in Rossland on Saturday trying to restore services to the community.

A powerful windstorm on Friday afternoon blew through town at about 4:30 p.m., uprooting trees and knocking down power lines.

The storm left more than 1,200 customers without power for about five hours, and damaged phone, cable, and gas lines.

On Saturday morning repair crews from FortisBC, Telus and Shaw Cable were scattered around the city, effecting repairs.

About 30 people were still without heat or power, according to Fortis.

The storm knocked down 150-year-old trees, like the one in Charity Biermann’s front yard. She says her husband and children were in the house at the time. They spent the evening without gas or power.

“My kids went over to my mom’s and had a campfire. We kind of cuddled under duvets all night,” she said. “It’s too bad. It was a gorgeous tree. It was healthy.”

The massive spruce pulled up the front walkway into the house, blocked the driveway, and ripped power and phone lines from their poles. One pole was being replaced as Biermann watched.

Still, she’s counting her blessings.

“It was lucky the way it fell,” she says. “It would have done a huge amount of damage to the house.”

Not all residents were so lucky. A few blocks away, the damage was much worse.

“The neighbour behind me, a big spruce tree came down and took his house out while he was in it,” said Troy Colautti, surveying the repair work going on outside his house on Phoenix Avenue in Lower Rossland.

“I went over to make sure he was all right, meanwhile these two trees here came down on Phoenix and took out everybody’s power and gas lines, the whole nine yards.”

Four emergency crews were busy restoring lines on Phoenix and Union Avenues on Saturday morning.

The power of the brief storm surprised Colautti.

“It lasted maybe a half an hour,” he said. “There was a lot of stuff flying around.”

Colautti says he and his neighbours were evacuated from the area for about three hours while crews tried to control the gas leak.

Fortis estimated power would be restored to the final few dozen customers by Saturday afternoon.

The storm that hit Rossland was part of a much larger system that blew through the southern Interior on Friday, knocking out services to more than 120,000 customers of BC Hydro alone.

 

The storm brought down a tree that smashed into a home on Union Avenue in Lower Rossland. No one was injured by the fall. Photo by John Boivin

David Hall, a line worker with Shaw Cable, was busy repairing lines on Phoenix Avenue on Saturday morning. Photo by John Boivin

Just Posted

Snowfall warning for Kootenay and Paulson passes

Up to 30 cm expected in mountain passes Saturday and Sunday.

Community Futures launches cannabis consultation program

The Cannabis Business Transition Initiative helps businesses move into the legal economy

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

Kootenay Patricks assemble to take on Montreal Canadiens alumni

The charity game takes place Jan. 23 in Nelson

Castlegar woman to appear on Dragons’ Den

Happy Gut sells water kefir beverages and kits to make water kefir at home.

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Most Read