Part of a tree fell across power lines at Maple Ridge Park, closing part of 232nd Street. (THE NEWS/files)

Part of a tree fell across power lines at Maple Ridge Park, closing part of 232nd Street. (THE NEWS/files)

Power still out, roads closed in Maple Ridge

Wind storm cleanup expected to continue into new year.

  • Dec. 21, 2018 2:00 p.m.

Maple Ridge city staff responded to 137 incidents related to Thursday’s major wind storm.

“We activated our Emergency Operations Centre on Thursday morning so we could coordinate our resources and response to the storm,” said James Storey, director of engineering operations.

“We deployed our staff to address the most urgent life safety issues related to downed power lines and trees and focused on keeping city services operating,” he added.

“Close communication with our colleagues in the fire department allowed us to deploy operations staff for traffic control to free up our firefighters to be available for other safety related calls. We ask that people respect the barricades that are in place for their safety until B.C. Hydro can repair the lines.”

Thousands of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents were without power for much of Thursday, and many still as of Friday afternoon. Trees and parts of them fell on homes and vehicles, and blocked roads, including that to Golden Ears Provincial Park.

At one point, more than 300,000 homes in B.C. were without power due to the storm.

“Citizens just don’t realize the scope of work that rolls out when huge sections of the city are without power,” Storey said.

Mayor Mike Morden was impressed with how rapidly operations staff were able to deploy generators to ensure uninterrupted water and sewer service.

“I know that staff worked through the night to ensure that the traffic signals on our main routes were powered up to minimize the impacts for the morning commute. Work continues to fully address all of the impacts of the storm,” he added.

“I’m grateful that there were no injuries reported. I noted significant property damage from photos posted in social media. I know this is an inconvenience for many of our neighbours, but thankfully everyone is okay.”

As of Friday morning, there were still 33 sites with downed powerlines in Maple Ridge.

Crews have been focusing on the removal of debris from roadways and will transition to the removal of debris from other areas of the city as power is restored.

The cleanup is expected to continue into the new year.

• For updates on full and partial road closures, see www.mapleridge.ca, scroll down on the home page and click on the ‘Roadwork & Closures’ tab to view the latest update.

Citizens can get direct notification to their email and smartphone by clicking the ‘Stay Connected’ icon on the home page and signing up for push notifications. Updates are also being published on the City’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/YourMapleRidge) and Twitter (@YourMapleRidge).