A tree crushed a vehicle driving through Cathedral Grove on Dec. 19, 2017 following the first big snowstorm of the season on Vancouver Island. Witnesses said the occupants were unhurt in the accident. PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POTTER

Alberni tree service workers keep Cathedral Grove clear in snowstorm

‘We had trees falling over every minute through the Grove last night’

Four employees of Totem Tree Service spent an exhausting day and night on Monday (Dec. 19) clearing trees from Highway 4 in Cathedral Grove during the snowstorm that hit Vancouver Island and the south coast.

“We had trees falling over every minute through the Grove last night,” Totem Tree Service owner Dave Potter said. “It was a really stressful situation for all people. We had to keep our eyes up all the time looking for falling branches breaking off, overhanging the road, trees falling in behind—cracking every second.”

Potter had two crews of two people and two pickup trucks between them working in the Grove from 10 a.m. Monday to 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, bucking up trees that fell across the road to keep the highway clear. Totem is a Port Alberni-based company that takes care of dangerous tree removals for Emcon Services, the highway contractor on Vancouver Island.

“We cleared about 60 trees off the roads,” Potter said. “Some were as big as three feet in diameter. The trees were coming down because of the heavy snow load and saturated soil’s first big snow of the year,” he explained.

Potter and his three colleagues worked as fast as they could to get the debris off the road. “For some of the big ones we had the snowplough helping push the logs off the road,” he said.

“In those situations we don’t worry about doing any cleanup other than keeping it clear off the road for the cars and the snowplows.”

The snow played havoc on the Hump, especially Monday morning when several semi-trucks got stuck. Numerous accidents were reported on the east side of Vancouver Island as well as Highway 4 both east and west of Port Alberni.

Environment Canada is estimating more snow for Vancouver Island for Thursday.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

 

Employees with Totem Tree Service pause after bucking up a tree that blocked Highway 4 through Cathedral Grove during the Dec. 19, 2017 snowstorm. PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POTTER

Just Posted

“Major road failure” shuts down highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

A rock crashed down onto Hwy. 4 early Thursday morning.

Veteran Island journalist battles cancer through pioneering treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia, killing three on board

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

Vancouver Islands model railroaders bring life-long passion for their hobby

Annual train show in Campbell River kicks off three-city showcase tour

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. teacher witnesses coronavirus terror in Shanghai: ‘Everyone is on edge’

Face masks and hand sanitizer ‘sell out’ as 9 SARS-like illness cases confirmed in the city

Remote surveillance helps RCMP nab suspect immediately Island break-in

Stolen items returned after Parksville business owner takes quick action

WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Living near major roads, highways linked to higher risk of dementia, Parkinson’s: UBC

Green space could mitigate some of the risks, researchers found

B.C. privacy commissioner suggests media civility for Prince Harry and Meghan

Lawyers for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly sent a letter to British press threatening legal action

One person in Vancouver being monitored for coronavirus, feds say

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said five or six people are being monitored in Canada

Gap between cost of legal and illegal cannabis keeps growing: Stats Canada

In B.C., legal pot cost $9.32 per gram when bought legally

The word ‘landlord’ is too negative, one B.C. councillor says

Coun. Dave Loewen says term should be replaced by ‘rental housing provider’ in new housing strategy

Most Read