While BC Hydro continues to work around the clock to restore power to residents in B.C. after a severe wind storm hit the region last week, Victoria marks the anniversary of another storm that brought the city to a standstill 22 years ago.
The blizzard of ‘96 set records by dropping 124 centimetres of snow in Victoria between Dec. 22 and Dec. 29.
The worst blast of winter weather to reach Vancouver Island since 1916 brought multi-million dollar damages to the region, including extensive damage to recreation centres, devastation to the Capital City Yacht Club, and the deflation of the Oak Bay tennis bubble, not to mention the $400,000 in street clean-up costs the City of Victoria faced.
The storm was a triad of extreme elements with 81 cm of snow dropping between 10 p.m. Dec. 28 and 4 p.m. Dec. 29, winds up to 100 km/h Dec. 31 and 97.9 cm of rain falling between Dec. 30 and Jan. 6, turning the blizzard of ‘96 into the swamp of ‘97.
Farmers and greenhouses were particularly hurt by the blizzard that had BC Hydro logging $1 million in overtime costs for crews working to restore power.
The annual First Night celebrations hosted in downtown Victoria had to be postponed from Dec. 31 to Jan. 31 due to the snowfall.
On the whole, it was estimated that B.C. suffered more than $200 million in damages during the blizzard that struck between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
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