Surrey city workers still busy with fallen trees, over 150 retrieved so far

Dry soil and foliage created "perfect recipe for trees to be pushed over by strong winds," says Surrey operations manager

Surrey crews were swamped over the weekend cleaning up fallen trees after a wild windstorm that blew through the whole Lower Mainland.

SURREY — Surrey city workers have dealt with well more than 150 fallen trees since Saturday’s wild windstorm, according to operations manager Rob Costanzo.

“On Saturday we handled just over 100 trees that had fallen and were obstructing major arterial roads,” he said. “Crews worked throughout the day and by 1 a.m. (Sunday morning) we had the large trees cleared from arterial roads.”

Sunday the city focused efforts on clearing trees on secondary and local roads.

There was still high call volume on Monday, with about 30 calls about trees flooding in by lunchtime.

“And of course we’re still impacted with loss of power,” he said.

Monday morning BC Hydro reported there were roughly 8,800 homes in Surrey still without power.

Costanzo has worked at the City of Surrey since 1991 and said the last and only time a power outage was this impactful was in November, 2006. That was also a windstorm.

While the worst is over, Costanzo doesn’t think the tree issues are over just yet.

“With this kind of windstorm at this time of year, there’s foliage on the trees and it’s been so dry so there’s dry soil conditions. It’s the perfect recipe for trees to be pushed over by strong winds.”

He said there have been several trees that were compromised Saturday and fell down Sunday or Monday because of winds.

“Hopefully we’ve seen the worst of it.”

The Surrey Fire Department has been swamped as well.

Deputy fire chief Karen Fry said the department responded to 299 incidents Saturday, over 126 of which were for wires or hydro poles being down.

On Sunday, another 232 calls came in.

“As power was re-energized throughout the city we saw a lot more hydro pole fires… had wires down calls, motor vehicle accidents and more alarms ringing.”

She explained when power gets rebooted alarms often go off, which the fire department responds to.

“Even today (Monday), so far we’re up to 60 incidents that we’ve responded to. A lot more alarm calls,” she said. “But things are coming back online, which we’re glad to see.”

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Mounties arrest man in Chatr Mobile store robbery in Whalley

Jeremy Morgan, 32, is alleged to have had a loaded gun when he was arrested on Feb. 12

Surrey RCMP recover $80,000 worth of stolen property

Police found the property after executing two search warrants in Newton

White Rock approves scaled-up Festival of Lights for 2020

Event to run for nearly 60 days, and expand from the white rock to Oxford Street

White Rock to encourage Uber, Lyft to operate in city

South Surrey and White Rock are without ride-hailing services, for now

Annual Battle of the Badges hockey game to combat bullying in Delta schools

This year’s Battle of the Badges takes place at Sungod Arena on Pink Shirt Day (Wednesday, Feb. 26)

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Victoria, Abbotsford record biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Woman arrested in Cariboo after fuel stolen, police car rammed

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Most Read