2/15/2019

Big Trees + Big Wind = Power Outages and Crushed Cars

After a fierce winter storm I toured Sooke, BC to assess the damage. It was extensive.


The west coast has had its share of gnarly weather this winter, with vast and prolonged power outages. And probably more than a few crushed vehicles.

It reminds me of when I was living on Billing Spit in Sooke, BC. It was there, on the top floor of an older 3 floor waterfront apartment building, that I experienced one of the scariest weather events of my life.


A December wind storm hit just before Christmas. With gusts over 100km, the storm initially woke me up as my bed, and the whole building, was shaking. 


The air pressure had blown all the water out of the sink drain traps in our apartment, and the air rushing through the pipes was making a wailing sound like I have never heard before, or since.


My wife and I retrieved our Bug Out Bags, and set them by the front door. We were ready to evacuate and seek shelter somewhere safer. Preferably, somewhere where there weren't waves crashing over the sea wall and spraying on to our front balcony.


We looked out our back window to see our building caretaker fighting off a large piece of vinyl siding wrapped around him, threatening to launch him into the dark night sky.


In the end, we rode out the storm in our shaking and vibrating unit. Escape was impossible, unless we left on foot, since there were large trees down everywhere, including in our parking lot. 


The next morning, when the wind subsided, I went out to see that the roof of the twin building next door ripped completely off, and landed in the parking lot behind the building. Our neighbours were homeless for weeks until repairs were completed.


We were all without power for almost a week.


Our roof stayed put, perhaps due to the fact that our building, unlike the one next door, had large trees protecting it. 


The big trees giveth, the big trees taketh away. 


But I love them all the same.






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