As of Monday afternoon, BC Hydro crews were still working to restore power in several parts of Surrey – two days after a powerful wind storm hit the Lower Mainland, toppling trees and bringing them down on cars, power lines and homes.
In addition to property damage, the windy conditions over the weekend left a Surrey woman in hospital with life-threatening injuries after she was struck by a falling tree while walking in the 14800-block of 100 Avenue Saturday afternoon.
“The pedestrian was in the process of alerting other pedestrians and vehicles of the falling trees, when unfortunately a tree fell on her,” said Surrey RCMP in a press release. “The victim’s daughter managed to jump out of the away and was uninjured.”
The woman, in her 40s, was transported to Royal Columbian Hospital. She remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.
RCMP reported “several near misses between trees and members of the public” and several road closures due to trees blocking traffic.
Saturday’s storm, which saw winds as high as 90 km/h, left more than 500,000 Hydro customers without power across the province. Hydro staff worked around the clock to restore power, bolstered by additional crews from Vancouver Island and Northern B.C., and although progress was made, numerous power outages remained in Surrey 48 hours later.
As of Aug. 31, there were still more than 23,000 customers in the city affected, some of whom weren’t expected to have power restored until early Tuesday morning.
In addition to not having power, BC Hydro customers were further frustrated by the utility’s website being offline for much of the weekend, leaving them unable to check for expected outage times.
“We know our customers look to that site for restoration times and for information on how we’re doing in terms of progress on power restoration and it’s really unacceptable that it was unavailable and we apologize to our customers for that source of information not being there,” said Hydro spokesperson Simi Heer.
The storm forced the Surrey Night Market to ends its season three weeks earlier than planned, after tents, lighting and fencing were destroyed by the winds, with damage estimated in excess of $100,000.
The market, which operated Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds since late May, had planned to extend its second season until Sept. 20.