March 16, 2015 - 7:30 PM
LUMBY - It was like a scene out of the Wizard of Oz: A carport swept into the air, bits of siding blowing off homes and dust clouding the air.
There were numerous wind-related incidents Saturday afternoon in the North Okanagan — B.C. Hydro responded to some 300 wind-related outages across the province — but a trailer park in Lumby seemed to take the brunt of the storm.
Al Pickering, a resident of Valleyview Mobile Home Park on Mabel Lake Road, says he’s never seen that kind of wind.
“It blew a lot of the skirting off the trailers,” he says. “Some car shelters went up in the air and landed on the power lines…. It was pretty scary — it lasted right till sun down.”
A portable, tent-like carport unhinged in the wind, blew into some power lines and landed on the metal roof of a nearby mobile home. While B.C. Hydro, RCMP and the Fire Department were on scene dealing with the flyaway carport, a large spruce tree in Pickering’s front yard began to lean towards neighbouring homes and more power lines.
“It was tipped over at quite an angle,” Pickering says. “We had a lot of spectators here, just watching and nothing you could do. Nobody wanted to cut it or do anything with it until the wind died down, so you just had to leave it and stay out of the way.”
Pickering and four other residences were evacuated and put up in a hotel overnight due to the hydro hazards. The area was taped off until roughly 2 p.m. the following day when a tree falling company finished chopping down Pickering's spruce tree.
Environment Canada recorded official wind gusts of 61 km/h Mar. 14, but meteorologists say it’s possible the wind was blowing up to 90 km/h. The storm didn’t break any records, but it certainly left its mark across the province with people like Pickering still cleaning up the damage.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015