A huge Douglas fir, described as a heritage tree, managed to miss two houses and two cars when it came crashing down during Sunday night’s windstorm.
“It sounded like a bomb went off,” said Ron Trainor of the tree that fell between his home and his neighbour’s at 208 Street and 48 Avenue.
“My wife and I had just gone to bed,” he said. “We then heard this big bang.”
The only damage is to his neighbour’s fence. The tree is more than 100 years old, said Trainor.
“We are very lucky. That tree would have taken out half our house if it fell towards us,” he said.
A five-foot hole is all that remains where the tree’s root system once was.
Trainor credits BC Hydro crews for arriving quickly to clear the road that was completely blocked by the tree.
“BC Hydro were incredibly quick on the job and the tree was so heavy they had to buck it into a half a dozen pieces to get it off the road,” he said.
Trainor has lived in the neighbourhood for 14 years but hasn’t seen any major trees fall until now.
He points out that last summer’s drought led to dry root systems not being able to hold trees down in the wind. He’s a bit worried about the two other trees on his property and is expecting a Township arborist will be by to see how those are going to fair in the next storm expected to hit this week.
Wind gusts in Langley reached more than 100 km/hour, downing wires, trees and branches all over the municipality.
A home in south Langley went up in flames after the resident left a burning candle on his nightstand and fell asleep. Many people in Aldergrove and parts of Brookswood and Langley City spent the night in the dark.
Several people and a dog are lucky to be alive after trees came down on their moving cars during Sunday night’s windstorm.
Around 9 p.m., a man and woman and their dog were trapped after a tree fell onto their moving vehicle in the 20900 block of 96 Avenue.
B.C. Hydro arrived to cut power to the live wires and then firefighters helped them out of their vehicle, which was heavily damaged.
Around 9:30 p.m., a man called 911 after being trapped in his vehicle at 198 Street and 80 Avenue when a tree fell onto his moving vehicle. Township firefighters rescued the man after B.C. Hydro turned off power to the live wires.
No one was injured in either incident.
According to Township fire chief Stephen Gamble, crews from most fire halls were busy on Sunday night handling calls.
Firefighters went out to nine calls of downed wires, 13 public works calls for trees down, one minor car crash and three Hydro poles on fire.
A tree fell on a house at 207 and 38A Avenue, puncturing the roof and crushing a canopy in the backyard.
Environment Canada said another storm is expected to hit and may bring more strong winds.
According to BC Hydro, if you are involved in a crash involving a power pole and live wires, drive out from under them if you are able to do so safely. Travel at least a bus length before stopping.
If you can’t drive away, stay put and wait for emergency help. If there is a fire and you have to get out, jump out of the vehicle by standing up, tucking your elbows into your body with hands to chest, taking care to land with with both feet together and touching, don’t stumble. Shuffle your feet, don’t run or jump, as you move away from the vehicle.