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Willowbrook residents cleaning up after nature's fury

Trish Osland surveys damage done to her house after being clipped by a tree that was uprooted during a brief but powerful storm in Willowbrook Monday, June 29.
July 02, 2015 - 1:00 PM

PENTICTON - Several Willowbrook property owners continue to clean up after a brief, localized storm hit the community on Monday, June 29, around 3:30 p.m.

“It must have been a twister," Kurt Klaes says, describing the storm front as 'a white wall.'

On July 2, he and wife Ruth are still cleaning up with a lot more work to do. At least a half dozen trees were uprooted on the couple’s one hectare property.

"I was outside when I saw it coming. I went into the house, and looked out the window about 15 minutes later, and thought to myself, that wasn’t there before,” he says of a large willow, previously standing, that was now uprooted and lying across his front lawn. “I’ve spent some time at sea, and I’ve seen some storms in my life, nothing as concentrated as this was.”

Klaes was relieved the trees that fell on their property didn’t hit any buildings, even though there is still extensive clean up to be done. 

Trish Osland wasn't quite as lucky. She had numerous ponderosa pines come down on her property, causing damage to her garage, her residence and a portable horse corral.

“I was out with two others horseback riding when the storm hit. We didn’t get any wind, just rain and lightening,” Oslund says.

The trio tried to get back to the Willowbrook subdivision, but found the road blocked and had to make their way back through fields. Oslund returned home to find trees down all over her yard. One glanced off the garage roof and another hit her house. A portable horse corral was also crushed by fallen trees.

Neighbouring properties between the Klaes and Oslund’s also lost trees, at least two dozen in total. The storm also took out several hydro poles, cutting power to many Willowbrook residents for 24 hours.

The storm affected only a handful of properties in Willowbrook.

“My brother was sitting on his sundeck a kilometre away, and didn’t know anything was going on,” Oslund says.

Ruth and Kurt Klaes lost seven trees on their property as a result of Monday's storm.
Ruth and Kurt Klaes lost seven trees on their property as a result of Monday's storm.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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