Electrical storm downs tree on resident’s home

A heavy storm that thundered through the Shuswap on July 2 has one resident dealing with damage done to his home.

Don Matheson, who lives in Deep Creek, said he was tending to his yard when he noticed heavy winds and witnessed a large tree fall onto his house a little bit after 7 p.m.

“I heard this snap and I turned and saw the tree uprooted,” said Matheson, who also noted the winds caused a significant mess of scattered cones in his yard. “What’s ironic is I had just finished cleaning up my yard.”

The tree fell over due to the heavy winds produced by a storm that had moved in from Kelowna that evening.

Matheson said the area where he lives generally gets wind pockets and the way the wind hit the tree forced it to fall over.

Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist Doug Lundquist says winds of 40-50 km/hr were recorded at a monitoring station, but it’s possible that higher winds occurred in other parts of the region.

“Sometimes you can get little microbursts of wind,” said Lundquist.

Matheson, meanwhile, said that luckily the tree, which was approximately 80 to 90 feet tall, didn’t collapse straight into the house. He said the fact the limbs on the tree were living, and his home has three different levels of roof, helped cushion the blow. Most of the damage was to the beams of the house and deck.

“I was surprised, because the trees are very solid,” said Matheson, whose house is surrounded by many trees like the one that fell. “It could have been worse.”

The storm, which was caused by a cold front moving through the area, also brought a high number of lightning strikes with it, but only 0.2 mm of rain.

“It looks like there were about 500 lightning strikes in the southern part of the Shuswap that evening,” said Lundquist.


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