Large fallen branches and trees blocked traffic on many rural roads on Saturday

Windstorm batters region: photos

Winds peaking at 90 kilometres an hour brought chaos to most of the Lower Mainland on Saturday.

Winds peaking at 90 kilometres an hour brought chaos to most of the Lower Mainland on Saturday.

The wind knocked down branches and power lines, causing widespread outages and property damage.

Sections of 16 Avenue, Robertson Crescent, 38 Avenue, 58 Avenue, 64 Avenue and Downes Road were partially or entirely blocked by fallen trees, many go which also took out power lines.

At the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove, wind knocked down some of the animal enclosure fences, forcing a shutdown. The zoo was evacuated at approximately 11:30 a.m. Sunday of all public walking around the zoo due to flying tree branches and debris.

“Shortly after this the zoo had several large trees fall on fences surrounding animal enclosures, and went into their emergency protocol for those types of circumstances. All of the staff performed extremely well under great pressure and although fences did come down, none of the animals escaped or were injured,” said general manager Jody Henderson.

The zoo did have a group hosting their child’s birthday in the indoor Education Centre and they were allowed to stay at the zoo, as long as they didn’t go outside of the Education Centre.

A Sunday marathon scheduled for the historic Langley Speedway in Campbell Valley Park was called off due to trail damage.

In Langley City, a large branch fell across the street from city hall, blocking traffic in one direction until heavy equipment arrived to remove it. People who tried to report the fallen branch by phone told The Times they had trouble getting through to the municipal works yards.

Police and fire were busy responding to calls of downed lines in the Township, taping off potentially hazardous areas and re-directing traffic until BC Hydro crews could arrive to make repairs.

At the height of the storm the BC Hydro website went down, unable to handle the huge number of service outage enquiries. It was later restored.

The BC Hydro Twitter feed called the wind storm the worst in terms of power outages since 2006.

The high winds disrupted SkyTrain service when a tree fell across the tracks and damaged a train.

Rough water delayed some BC ferries and forced a temporary shutdown at the Pacific National Exhibition.

By late afternoon, more than 300,000 homes were without power in Metro Vancouver. Hydro said on Sunday evening that they were still working to have 157,000 customers back in service.

There was one report of serious injury, a woman who was hit by a tree in Surrey.

-with files from Dan Armstrong

A cottonwood fell across 64 Avenue near 267 Street, pulling down power lines and a pole. The trees were cut up by Sunday but the power lines were still on the ground.

A large cottonwood fell across 58 Avenue near Ross Road and was only held up by the power lines. Before emergency responders were able to close this section of road several motorists risked driving under this suspended tree.

Robertson Crescent was covered in fallen leaves, branches and trees in the windstorm Saturday. Traffic lights were also out at many intersections, necessitating the four-way stop rule for motorists.