Power has returned to Saanich’s Ten Mile Point neighbourhood in Cadboro Bay after a second windstorm in as many days, but the next outage might be just around the corner.
Environment Canada late Sunday morning issued a wind warning for Coastal British Columbia. The alert area includes the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island from the tip to the island, Greater Victoria and the Gulf Islands, and Environment Canada warns of northeasterly winds of 70 km/h, reaching up to 90 km/h.
“High winds may toss loss objects or cause tree branches to break,” it reads.
This warning, of course, also raises the possibility of power outages, an event becoming increasingly familiar to the Cadboro Bay neighbourhood and its residents, especially those living in exposed areas like Ten Mile Point.
Yesterday, high winds knocked out power for five hours in various areas of Saanich, including Cadboro Bay.
This warning of course also entails the possibility of power outages, a condition with which residents like Jim Popkin are becoming increasingly familiar.
“The wind is fierce is out there,” he said, while standing on Tudor Avenue with other area residents. Down the road, they could see crews from BC Hydro and a local tree company working on restoring power to the area, which had gone out about an hour earlier just after 11 a.m.
“We have branches down in yard, a lot of debris on the grass,” he said, in describing the effects of the winds Sunday morning. “We sort of hesitate to walk through the woods because they are some big branches down there.”
By 1 p.m. or so, power had returned to the area.
Saturday’s power outage was even longer, running for five hours or so.
This double dose of power outage is nothing new for Popkin, who recently invested in a generator, but its efficacy has limits.
“We thought we were solving the problem by having a generator, but the generator does not always work on the electronic equipment and with new furnaces, it doesn’t seem to work that well. All the lights go on, and the freezer is taken care of, but we probably have to adjust the generator.”
Popkin also appears to brace himself for more outages.
“We are all exposed here pretty much,” he said.
That exposure to the Pacific Ocean also likely explains why Cadboro-Gyro Park with its beach was largely empty Sunday afternoon, except for a handful of adults walking their dogs on the sand and handful of young children playing in a nearby playground, their shrieks of joys competing against the blustery roar of the wind.
Also down on the beach was Eric Dahli, president of the Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association. Without power at home, he was on his way to a meeting, but stopped at the beach to cast out an eye on the relatively calm waters of the bay, after having received (unconfirmed reports) of another washed up boat.
Heavy winds late last year and early this year have already pushed several boats onto shore, and Dahli has been at the forefront of efforts to prevent more boats from washing up by improving various rules and regulations.
His and the influence of others concerned citizens, however, does not extend to controlling the winds, and Environment Canada predicts that after a “brief respite” Sunday afternoon, winds will pick up again in the evening, before easing late tonight as the outflow caused by an arctic ridge over the interior of British Columbia weakens.
By the time it does, residents like Popkin might have spend their evening in the dark, and Dahli might have to deal with another errant boat on shore.