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

UPDATE: Power still out at some Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows schools

Thousands went without for hours Thursday after major wind storm hits regions.

  • Dec. 20, 2018 11:45 a.m.

Six Maple Ridge schools remain without power Friday after a major wind storm ripped through the area the day before, although just one is closed.

Fairview, Laity View and Webster’s Corners elementary schools, as well as Westview and Garibaldi secondary schools, remain without power, but are still open to students.

Whonnock elementary will be closed to students until power is restored.

”We continue to have power outages at number of our schools this morning. These schools are open for students, but instruction cannot proceed until power is restored,” says a school district release.

“Parents are asked to make alternate arrangements for their children where possible and bring them to school once power is restored.”

Hundreds of residents in large areas of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows also remained without power on Friday. Roads were closed due to wires down because of high winds, which also caused a tree to fall on a house in Albion.

Other images showed trees across more homes and vehicles. Fences were blown over, and trees uprooted.

Areas without power include Whonnock, Ruskin, Webster’s Corners, Silver Valley, downtown Maple Ridge, west Maple Ridge, Hammond and parts of Pitt Meadows. Some had been without power since before noon.

B.C. Hydro crews had yet been assigned to restore power in many areas.

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue Chief Howard Exner said Friday morning that calls started coming in at about 11 a.m. Thursday, adding up to more than 100 calls about downed wires, blown-down trees or power pole fires. Crews respond to each scene and prevent access until Hydro repair crews arrive. People still get too close to live wires and don’t undersand the dangers, he added.

“They think it’s OK to walk by them, or to coil them up to be helpful to get them off the road.” Firefighters though won’t approach the wires either, he added and instead wait for BC Hydro crews to do the repairs.

Friday morning, “There are still calls coming,” Exner said.

“Most of everything seemed to be centred between the city centre and Whonnock where the big trees are.”

More than 50 firefighters were on the streets, along with the city’s 16 big fire trucks, while staffing levels were reduced later that night. There were no major incidents or injuries.

An image of a tree fallen across a house was shared in the Albion Neighbours Facebook group.

Part of a tree fell across power lines at Maple Ridge Park, closing part of 232nd Street.

And 129th Avenue, at 224th Street, was closed as a tree had fallen across it.

Environment Canada forecast winds would reach 40-70 km/h in Pitt Meadows before noon, and gusting up to 90 km/h by early afternoon. However, at wind gusts of only 50 km were later reported, with a high of 14 C on Thursday.

A Metro Vancouver wind warning had been in effect.

In Pitt Meadows, Woolridge Road west of Barnes Road and Rippington Road north of Old Dewdney Trunk Road, were both closed Thursday although there were no updates on Friday.

According to the City of Maple Ridge on Friday morning, the following roads are closed due to downed power lines or debris:

• 268 Street from 98 Avenue to 100 Avenue;

• 11800-block of 260 Street;

• 232 Street from 130 Avenue to Birch Street;

• 102 Avenue at 258 Street.

Winds were forecast to ease in the early evening.

The main road to Golden Ears Provincial Park is closed due to trees down, as well.

According to the City of Maple Ridge, the following roads are closed due to the wind event as of 9:15 a.m., Friday, Dec. 21:

Partial Road Closures at:

• 25200 Block of 130 Avenue

• 11800 Block of Burnette Street, Northbound Lane

• 13400 Block of 232 Street

• 9400 Block of 263 Street

• 12380 Skillen Street

Full Road Closures at:

• 25862 100 Avenue

• 25800 Block of 102 Avenue

• 24400 Block of 104 Avenue

• 28300 Block of 108 Avenue

• 25000 Block of 112 Avenue

• Intersection of 112 Avenue at Palmer Rolph Street

• 112 Avenue East of 240 Street

• 124 Avenue Between Laity Street and 214 Street

• Intersection of 112 Avenue at Hynes Street

• 24100 Block of 125 Avenue

• 22400 Block of 129 Avenue

• 130 Avenue at 250 Street

• 21400 Block of 124 Avenue

• 22400 Block of 129 Avenue

• 24000 Block of 130 Avenue

• 24100 Block of 130 Avenue

• 25200 Block of 130 Avenue

• 252 Street @ Hilland Avenue

• 24200 Block of Fern Crescent

• Intersection of 129 Avenue at 224 Street

• 232 Street Between 130 Avenue and Birch Avenue

• Intersection of 232 Street at Dogwood Avenue

• 12738 251 Street

• Intersection of 251A Street at 130 Avenue

• 11800 Block of 260 Street

• 9400 Block of 263 Street

• 268 Street Between 98 Avenue to 100 Avenue

• Ansell Street Between 125 Avenue and 126 Avenue

• Garibaldi Street Between 128 Avenue and Sayers Crescent

• Laity Street Between Dewdney Trunk Road and 121 Avenue

• 24800 Block of Alouette Rd

• 250 Street at 122 Avenue

Updates will be provided later, the city added.

Trail work in Pitt Meadows was also been postponed due to high winds.

Power was out at some schools, but instruction continued, according to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district.

Power outages affected: Garibaldi secondary, Pitt Meadows secondary, Samuel Robertson secondary, Blue Mountain elementary, Davie Jones elementary, Hammond elementary, Harry Hooge elementary, Laity View elementary (partial outage), Westview secondary, Webster’s Corners elementary and Yennadon elementary.

• More to follow.

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