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

Indian Day School students eligible for $10K apiece

Islanders included in settlement package reached with Canada’s federal government

Discovery Island wolf continues to thrive

The wolf, known as ‘Takaya’, has lived on the island for seven years

Early indications say allergy season could be milder this spring

The Aerobiology Lab collects pollen samples from across Canada to help make predictions

EDITORIAL: Housing is one of our basic needs

We all need food, clothing and shelter first

BIG READ: The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery Comox fisherman,… Continue reading

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Free blood type tattoo with donation draws crowdsin Finland, interest in Canada

One in two people is eligible and able to donate blood, but only one in 60 people actually do

Timelapse shows Blue Morpho chrysalis morphing in Victoria

One of many species of butterflies at the Butterfly Gardens

Tagalog, Arabic and Urdu among fastest growing languages in Canada

Italian and German have seen double-digit drops, while French and English are growing, but slowly

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Most Read