Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: SubmittedTrees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: SubmittedTrees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted

One Kootenay woman is thankful to be alive after barely escaping tragedy in the recent windstorm that wreaked havoc across B.C.

Pamala DeRosa had never really been a fan of the large trees circling the home she shares with her boyfriend in Shoreacres, but she says her worst nightmare came true during the Jan. 13 storm.

“I woke up to the sound of a freight train — the intense winds and loud crashing,” said DeRosa.

She says she didn’t really know what was happening, but quickly dressed, grabbed her dog and left the home within a few minutes.

“As we ran out the front door, I was met with sparks as a tree fell and tore down the power lines attached to the side of the house and watched as it cut directly through the bedroom I was just soundly sleeping in,” said DeRosa.

She then hopped into her car and drove out to the road, away from the large trees. About 30 minutes later, the storm had moved on and DeRosa drove back up her driveway to discover both ends of her home were completely destroyed by fallen trees.

“I am thankful beyond words for quick thinking, a well-behaved dog under the pressures we faced and wonderful neighbours and friends who jumped into action to help me figure it all out,” said DeRosa.

Unfortunately, the small home is beyond repair. But DeRosa says she is staying in good spirits about it all, knowing that it could have been a lot worse.

The storm struck all over the province as it moved eastward Wednesday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of electricity customers.

As of Thursday morning, more than a thousand West Kootenay homes were still without power including pockets of Shoreacres, New Settlement, Slocan Valley, Vallican, Riondel and both shores of Kootenay Lake. FortisBC estimates most of the customers in the area will have power restored by Thursday evening.

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betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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