Chilliwack cleans up after powerful wind storm

Hydro crews restored power to thousands by Tuesday night, but parts of Rosedale, Cultus Lake and the Eastern Hillsides were still waiting

Central elementary saw large tree limbs crack off during the storm Tuesday and come down along Young Road. A crew from the Chilliwack School District was making the area safe most of the next morning.

Cleanup crews were hard at it Wednesday in the wake of the powerful windstorm that took out power and trees across Chilliwack.

BC Hydro crews restored power to thousands of homes by Tuesday night, but parts of Rosedale, Cultus Lake and the Eastern Hillsides were still waiting the next day.

Large tree limbs cracked off and came down along the fence line near Central elementary. A cleanup crew from the Chilliwack School District was making the area safe for the public most of the morning by removing branches near Young Road.

Four schools remained closed Wednesday because of a lack of power. Students at Rosedale Traditional, Chilliwack Central, Cultus Lake, and East Chilliwack elementary schools were all given the day off.

School bus travel was also disrupted. Morning bus routes in Promontory and Ryder Lake were cancelled due to “multiple hazards and inaccessible roads,” the school district said.

A local auto dealership reported extensive damage after a tree crashed onto his lot.

Crews were also assessing a chicken barn that had its roof  almost sheared off at the height of the storm near Annis Road. Another homeowner reported that a tree had crashed through the family’s roof. Many others were reporting uprooted trees, damaged decks and torn roofing.

At least one trampoline ended up in the Fraser River.

City of Chilliwack public works crews were on duty until 10 p.m. last night clearing all the downed trees which were not entangled in BC Hydro lines. The city’s Emergency Operations Centre was opened to coordinate communications and more.

Crews had to work around the clock to maintain generators to keep the sewer lift operations moving at eight sites and two lift stations, according to city officials.

More than 20 road closures were reported, along with 75 downed trees, but workers made headway removing them.

Chilliwack Fire Department fielded 100 fire calls in a 12-hour window, to deal with situations like people trapped in elevators when the power went down.

The power was out for most of the day for more than 12,000 BC Hydro customers. Some will only see the lights back on by midnight.

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