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Haida Gwaii cleaning up after tree-toppling storm

Crews working to restore power to Queen Charlotte, Skidegate, Tlell, Port Clements, and Tow Hill
(Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Road and hydro crews are busy cleaning up from a tree-toppling windstorm that hit Haida Gwaii yesterday.

As of noon Sunday, crews are on site or heading out to fix power outages affecting Queen Charlotte, Skidegate, Tlell, Port Clements, and Tow Hill due to downed trees. Some have been without power since 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

While the winds are dropping and crews have been busy clearing trees off the highway, Drive BC warns drivers to watch for debris on the roads.

Forecasts show another, more short-lived southeast storm is expected to hit Haida Gwaii on Monday. In Tlell, the forecast calls for wind gusts of over 100 km/h around mid-afternoon.

The larger storm peaked Saturday night, with winds gusts of 127 km/h recorded at Sandspit Airport and gusts of 155 km/h recorded at Cape St. James. On the water, the storm churned up eight-metre seas in the northern half of Hecate Strait, and seas of over 12 metres off the west coast of Moresby Island.

BC Ferries has rescheduled the next ferry sailings between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii for Tuesday, Dec. 18, with a sailing set to leave Prince Rupert at 11 a.m. and arrive in Skidegate Landing at 5 p.m. The Northern Expedition will then leave Haida Gwaii for Prince Rupert at 10 p.m. Tuesday night, and is expected to arrive in Prince Rupert at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

The Kwuna ferry is now back servicing the Skidegate Landing/Alliford Bay route after several cancellations Saturday because of the storm.

The storm knocked out FM radio signals on the islands as well as power.

Despite all the disruption, the Skidegate Inlet Lions Club managed to get a line out to Santa Claus, who agreed to reschedule his breakfast at the Queen Charlotte Community Hall to the morning of Sunday, Dec. 23.

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(Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)