Season’s first big blow cuts power, closes road

  • Oct. 11, 2004 7:00 a.m.

By Mariah McCooey–Last Thursday’s storm-the first to rock the islands this year – had gusts that clocked over 110 kilometres per hour (60 knots). And although the consensus is “we’ve seen worse,” the storm disrupted travelers and stranded ferry passengers, knocked out the power to the south half of the islands, and brought down dozens of trees across the road.
According to the Beaufort wind scale, the wind speed was in the ‘violent storm’ category, and only slightly below that of a hurricane. (Florida, by comparison, was just devastated by 135 km/h winds).
“Fortunately the tide wasn’t high,” said Tlell weather-watcher John Davies, “There wasn’t much erosion damage.” But there were sure a lot of trees down, he said. “It was a wild day-a good storm. But there have definitely been many others like it.”
The Kwuna’s last sailing was at 1:00 pm on Thursday, which left many people marooned on both sides of the inlet until 7:00 Friday morning, including kids from the Graham Island side who attend the Sandspit school.
Urs Thomas, owner of the Golden Spruce Motel in Port Clements, said that the motel was full on Thursday night with people on their way south from Masset who were unable to proceed any further due to fallen trees on the road. “It was nasty last night,” he said, “my sign even got blown over.”
Tlell resident Margaret Davies was one of several people who ended up sleeping at a friend’s house. She was attending an open house at Sk’aadgaa Naay school in Skidegate, and decided to leave when the storm started to intensify. “I was counting the downed trees,” she said, “but I lost count after about a dozen.” The wind was really strong, especially around Miller Creek and the Jungle Beach area. “There was a lot of debris on the road,” she said, but O’Brien’s had already bucked up most of the fallen trees. Eventually they came to an impasse where a tree had fallen onto the power lines, and it was going to be several hours before it was cleared up, so she slept at a friend’s house.
The ferry to Rupert was badly disrupted by the storm, spoiling the long-weekend travel plans of some islanders and visitors, but was getting back to schedule as we went to press. For current information on the ferry, see www.bcferries.com or call 1 888 223 3779

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Ferry sailing delayed after divers check Northern Adventure

Divers called in to check propeller shaft, sailing to Haida Gwaii now 140 minutes behind

Haida Gwaii fishery staff gear up for marine mammal rescues

Haida fishery guardians and DFO fishery officers better equipped to rescue marine mammals

On the Wing: Heatwaves, forests and shorebirds

By Margo Hearne The dog days of summer continue. It’s been hot… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read