What the storms did to Langley (with video)

At least one serious accident, power outages and property damage



Late on Friday morning, as one in a series of heavy storms was pounding the Lower Mainland, Alan Langbell’s phone rang.

“Al, we have a problem.”

It was his wife Barbara calling from their Langley Township home in Glen Valley near 264 Street and 64 Avenue.

A cottonwood tree had come down in heavy winds, squashing their 2008 Dodge Ram pickup truck parked in the front yard.

Langbell returned to see the tree had lined up perfectly with the truck, crushing the roof down to the base of the driver’s seat.

No one was hurt, and once the tree was removed, Langbell’s son managed to crawl in, turn the engine on and move the pickup to await the wreckers.

“It actually runs fine,” said Langbell, who recorded the moment on video.

Fire crews were  busy on Friday as winds and rains took down trees, which in turn knocked out power to thousands of homes.

A 15-year-old Surrey boy died Friday after a tree fell on him near a school.

By Saturday, as many as 33,000 houses were without power in southwestern B.C. as the bad weather continued, forcing BC Ferries to cancel sailings as a precaution.

One driver suffered a serious head injury in a Highway 1 rollover crash in Langley during the storm Saturday night.

But by Sunday, the remnants of Typhoon Songda ended up tracking further north, bringing the fiercest winds to areas like Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast on Saturday night, while the Lower Mainland avoided a big hit.

The winds were less powerful than predicted in the more populated parts of the region.

Maximum gusts of 59 and 63 km/h were measured at the Abbotsford and Vancouver airports, respectively, but they topped 100 km/h at some of the more exposed weather stations, such as Race Rocks off Victoria and Pam Rocks in Howe Sound.

By noon Sunday, barely 1,000 Lower Mainland/Sunshine Coast homes were still without power, plus just over 800 on Vancouver Island, down from at least 33,000 southwestern B.C. customers without service at one point Saturday evening.

 

– with files from Black Press