Fraser Valley/Vancouver – At first the December 20, 2018 windstorm that rolled through Vancouver island, the Gulf Island, through Metro Vancouver and into the Fraser Valley, was compared to 2015 (that August storm caused problems for the PNE) and 2006 (when a microburst smashed a trail of trees in Stanely Park).
BC Hydro released a report ton January 2 finding the December 20 windstorm that hit the South Coast impacted more customers, caused more damage and required the largest mobilization of resources than any previous storm.
The report titled “Storm report: The most damaging storm in BC Hydro’s history” contains new information about the storm, including an updated total of customers impacted. More than 750,000 customers were without power, making it larger than the August 2015 windstorm that affected the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, and larger than the 2006 windstorm that hit Vancouver Island and devastated Stanley Park. The December 20 windstorm impacted more than 400,000 customers in the Lower Mainland, and nearly 350,000 or about 80 per cent of all customers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
What made the storm so unique and damaging is the fact that the winds came from multiple directions, more than 400 millimetres of rain fell in some areas leading up to the storm – which destabilized some trees, and wind speeds in some areas topped 100 kilometres per hour, resulting in trees and branches crashing down on to BC Hydro’s electrical equipment.
BC Hydro President and COO Chris O’Riley shares details of the windstorm that hit on December 20, 2018, the most damaging storm in BC Hydro history.