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More trees than usual fell on Bowen Island's power lines during last week's storm – summer's drought could be a factor

The number of callouts was double what Bowen Island Fire Rescue has seen in other storms
Tree down on a power line
Public Works was hard at work Sept. 17 as a rainstorm brought down trees across Bowen Island

The effects of a dry, dry summer are still being felt on Bowen Island.

BC Hydro is warning of drought-damaged trees being more susceptible to storms – and therefore more likely to fall on power lines – this year. 

Last week's rainstorm knocked out power to 750 homes on Bowen at its peak and more than 200 homes were without power mid-afternoon the next day. 

Four of the Bowen outages were caused by trees that brought wires down, said a BC Hydro spokesperson in an email and one pole needed to be replaced. “Our team travelled to Bowen Island as fast as they could using ferry service in the middle of the storm,” said the spokesperson. “They were able to restore service the next day.”

Bowen Island Fire Rescue was extremely busy with storm-related calls between 4:30 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, with eight calls related to downed power lines and trees, said fire chief Aaron Hanen in an email, including a call where two trees had fallen on a house, leaving it unsuitable for occupation. The number of callouts was double what BIFR has seen in other storms estimated Hanen, and this storm did not have the extremely high winds of other storms. “Based on this I would expect we could see more trees down and power outages this fall and winter especially if we see higher wind events,” he said. 

What can we expect with weakened trees? BIM’s emergency program coordinator explains.

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