Feature Story                                                                                               Monday, January 5, 2015


Night of a Thousand Storms

Dozens of accidents and power outages as Chilliwack gets hit with a winter whammy of snow and freezing rain

Staff/Voice photos


Chilliwack firefighters deal with a possible chimney fire on Maple Ave.


e were doing okay with the snowstorm Sunday, just the odd fender bender. Then, around 6 p.m., the freezing rain hit.

At that point, all forms of mayhem broke out right across Chilliwack, Rosedale and Greendale as branches and trees started coming down on Hydro wires. Within an hour, dozens of roads became impassable and were either shut down or in the process of being barricaded.

It all began Sunday morning. As the snow moved in, vehicles started to spin out and it became heavy slogging on the Trans Canada between Chilliwack and Abbotsford. Multiple accidents pushed waits for tow trucks from 2 hours to 6 hours

A pair of vehicles spun off different sections of the Trans Canada. Police checked on the occupants and found them nice and comfy and waiting for their tows.


Vehicles drove over embankments too.

There was a dramatic motor vehicle accident on Promontory and Extrom Rd. around 4 p.m. when a vehicle left the road and careened over a 100' embankment. Luckily, the car hung up on a tree about 10' down. The driver was able to scramble out.

Then, another vehicle drove off an even steeper embankment on Old Orchard Rd at Chilliwack Mountain Rd. trapping two occupants in a very precarious situation. Again a tree was the hero there as it stopped the car from plunging down the precipice. The occupants of that vehicle managed to get themselves out and back up the embankment to safety.

Shortly after that, a driver was fortunate to escape serious injury after smoking a tree on Keith Wilson Rd. and another vehicle drove off of into the brambles on Yale Rd in Rosedale.

Reports of wires down started coming in from all parts of the city. Transformers were exploding. A large maple wiped out a mass of wires In the 44300-block of Vedder Mountain Road. Trees were also reported down on Spadina at Mary St. and one came down and blocked Garrison Blvd in both directions.


Cedar trees were reportedly down on Yale Rd. East as well. Calls also came in about a tree down and blocking one lane on Lickman near Keith Wilson. Live Hydro wires were laying across vehicles.

Then, another incident took out power to over 2500 homes between Chilliwack and Abbotsford including Sardis all the way up to Chilliwack Lake. About this time, another 2000 BC Hyrdro customers found their electricity cut in the Chilliwack-Kent-Mission area.

Meanwhile, emergency crews responded to reports of accidents back on Spadina Ave., and on the Lougheed Highway at Seabird Island Rd.

Wires then were reported down on Kitchen and Tower, Chilliwack Central Rd., Blackburn Rd., Squahiti Cres., Wellington Ave., South Sumas, Maple, Adams Rd., Holly and First Ave., Kipp, Maitland, in the Chilliwack River Valley and McGregor Rd in Popkum just to name a few.


Even at 2 a.m., the storm hadn't finished it's handiwork as firefighters were called out to reports that a large log had fallen across Vedder Rd. between Manuel and Stevenson. That turned out to be just some branches and they dragged those off the road.

In the morning, drivers will have to negotiate huge pools of standing water caused by the heavy rain that rolled in on top of the snow. Environment Canada is calling for a freakishly warm 11C on Tuesday.



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