West Coast Road in Port Renfrew after the three storms.

Port Renfrew ravaged by storms

Around 4,500 customers in the Sooke to Port Renfrew area lost power on Friday and on Saturday around 3,000 were without power

As skies cleared and winds faded over the Sooke horizon on Sunday, residents noticed some broken branches, a few thousand leaves and some shattered wind chimes.

Needless to say, the storms weren’t the Atlantis-smashing cataclysms everyone predicted – it’s OK, you can put the boat away now, you won’t be living in it.

Port Renfrew, on the other hand, wasn’t so fortunate, as resident Johan Nielsen explains when he was driving home from Victoria on late Sunday afternoon.

“There was evidence of about half a dozen trees having been across the highway. It was not until I reached Port Renfrew that signs of devastation greeted me,” Nielsen wrote in his blog, PortRenfrewGateway.com.

Nielsen described “no less than five B.C. Hydro repair trucks” and more than 15 crew waited on West Coast Road to be cleared of debris by public works crews, so they can begin their own repairs on fallen power lines and restore electricity to local residents.

He pointed out the Pacheedaht First Nation community got hit “especially hard” after trees and debris tore down lines and blocked access roads.

“There was significant damage in the Port Renfrew area,” said B.C. Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk.

Olynyk said around 4,500 customers in the Sooke to Port Renfrew area lost power on Friday and on Saturday around 3,000 were without power.

Even though Nielsen was prepared to wait the night out with candles, power came back at around 11 p.m.

The last customers in Sooke got power back just after 3 a.m. on Saturday.

“This is the worst [storm] I’ve seen,” Nielsen said, who lives in Port Renfrew as a vacation retreat. “It was pretty dramatic with the three storms and all the power failures.”

Before the storms hit, District of Sooke was ready to hand out sandbags to residents to stand against possible flooding, though there have been no reports of any significant flooding events in Sooke, noted the district’s director of development services Rob Howatt.

So blue skies and warm sun from now on?

Well, not exactly. Next few days expect some grey skies with light rain, with the temperature hovering around 11 C, with the occasional sunny breaks we all love.

 

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