Weekend windstorm pounds Kootenays

·1 min read

Work crews were busy on Monday restoring power to thousands of customers in the East and West Kootenays after a powerful windstorm blew through the area Sunday afternoon.

The storm knocked down trees and branches on power lines and roads, and forced the closure of Highway 3A in several locations for most of the afternoon and evening.

The Village office in Kaslo was forced to close on Monday for lack of power, said Village CAO Ian Dunlop.

The storm also damaged Kaslo’s beach, leaving a sandy shore scoured, and scattered with debris and rocks.

“This is the craziest storm I’ve ever experienced here in the Kootenays,” said Jesse Schpakowski, a nature photographer, on a video shot on the Kaslo beach during the storm. Screen captures from his video showed strong waves pounding the beach, exposing old posts buried in the sand.

Wind speeds on Sunday were recorded at 75 km/hour in some locations, though it probably reached higher speeds than that, said Castlegar weather forecaster Jesse Ellis. He said the powerful storm blew in from the north.

As of press time, hundreds of residents were still without power in scattered areas around Nakusp, the southern Slocan Valley, and along both shores of Kootenay Lake.

Most power was expected to be restored sometime Monday.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice