A tree that was blown over on Sunday, March 28, at approximately 9 p.m. at the Riverbend RV Resort. Resort staff confirmed there were no injuries. (Submitted photo by Jennifer Jackson)

A tree that was blown over on Sunday, March 28, at approximately 9 p.m. at the Riverbend RV Resort. Resort staff confirmed there were no injuries. (Submitted photo by Jennifer Jackson)

Howling winds topple tree, crushing motor home and vehicle in Parksville

No injuries reported by RV resort staff as March’s heaviest winds keep BC Hydro hopping on the Island

No injuries were reported after strong winds toppled a tree and crushed a vehicle and a motorhome Sunday (March 28) in Parksville.

Riverbend RV Resort manager Allison Rees told the PQB News a large tree was brought down at approximately 9 p.m. on Sunday by strong winds, damaging the side of a motor home and the front end of a nearby passenger vehicle.

“It was a freak storm,” said Rees, “And it was a perfectly healthy tree… But it’s like looking at any healthy tree. How can you know that it’s going to come down?”

Rees said no one was injured, either during the incident or the ensuing cleanup, and that the owners of the damaged vehicles are being accommodated in one of the resort’s cabins while dealing with insurance.

“Nothing like this has happened before,” she said.

The Riverbend RV resort complies with tree maintenance year around, said Rees, and they have an arborist advise them on what dead trees there may be and what else may need to come down.

Within the past 12 months the resort has removed approximately 10 trees.

“We thought, since we’re coming into April, that we would be through the worst of it, but I guess not yet.”

READ MORE: Tree tumbles during heavy winds, crushes car at inn in Qualicum Beach

On Monday morning staff members were seen on-site, having secured the area and clearing the rest of the fallen tree.

Several other residents of the resort commented on the wind from Sunday night, saying it shook their campers very badly throughout the night.

According to Environment Canada’s historical data, Sunday was the most extreme day in March for strong winds, with maximums reaching 55 km/h by the Qualicum Beach Airport, and affected residents throughout the Island.

As of 10:30 a.m. Monday, just three of the thousands of BC Hydro customers in the Cowichan Valley who had lost power in Sunday’s windstorm were still in the dark.

BC Hydro spokesman Ted Olynyk said at the peak of the storm, at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, approximately 7,000 customers in the Cowichan Valley, one of the hardest hit areas, were without power. More than 3,500 Colwood residences are without power Monday morning as BC Hydro worked to investigate the cause.

In all, about 180,000 customers on the Island, Sunshine Coast and Lower Mainland were left in the dark at the height of the storm, but 97 per cent of them had their power back on by Monday morning.

Currently, there are no weather alerts for the east coast of Vancouver Island.

— with a file from Robert Barron

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

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