Traffic travelling westbound on Highway 4 are delayed on the Hump heading into Port Alberni Thursday afternoon after a few trees came down over the road. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Traffic travelling westbound on Highway 4 are delayed on the Hump heading into Port Alberni Thursday afternoon after a few trees came down over the road. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Highway 4 closed east and west of Port Alberni

Numerous trees, power lines cut off west coast communities

Highway 4 is closed both east and west of Port Alberni due to trees and power lines over the road.

Dave Potter of Totem Tree Operations posted a live video on Facebook saying the wind is so heavy it’s whipping five- and six-foot waves on Cameron Lake. He and a crew member were headed around the lake to help with trees down on the road but he said it was too dangerous.

“We’re pulling the pin,” he said.

“It’s almost like hurricane-force winds here. We’re getting to safety,” he said. “We never would have come into this if we’d known.

“This highway is shut down.”

Drive BC reported that trees were down for nine kilometres between Chalet Road and McLean Road (four kilometres west of Qualicum Beach to seven kilometres east of Cathedral Grove. There are also downed power lines on that side as well.

On the Port Alberni side of Cathedral Grove, drivers were caught in a lineup of traffic as crews had to clear downed trees in the eastbound lane of Highway 4. The highway between Port Alberni Summit and Aspeden Road is also closed due to more trees that have fallen in the heavy wind.

Three vehicles, including one driven by an Alberni Valley News staff member, narrowly avoided getting hit by a falling tree on the Alberni side of the Hump.

There is no estimated time for the road to re-open at the moment.

West of Port Alberni, Highway 4 is also closed between Port Alberni and Tofino due to numerous trees on the highway, for 199 kilometres between Tsu-ma-as Drive and the Ucluelet-Tofino Junction. There are also trees down on Pacific Rim Highway between Fourth Street and the Tofino-Ucluelet Highway.

No detours are available westbound on Highway 4. Drive BC will post again after 6 p.m.

Mainroad Contracting recently took over road operations for the mid-Island and have crews out on Highway 4 as well as sub-contractors removing trees.

editor@albernivalleynews.com