Aftermath: High winds blew down trees in many areas of the Shuswap. These trees damaged power lines and a home in Tappen.

Aftermath: High winds blew down trees in many areas of the Shuswap. These trees damaged power lines and a home in Tappen.

Windstorm topples trees, cuts power

Hydro: More than 3,000 people experience outages.

While there was some rain, it was the wind that caused problems in the Shuswap on Saturday, with downed power lines and uprooted trees causing power outages for more than 3,000 Shuswap residents.

Lisa Coldwells, meteorologist with Environment Canada, says wind gusts in excess of 50 km/h were recorded in Salmon Arm and heavy winds lasted between two and three hours, however, not a lot of rain fell.

“There was only 1.2-mm recorded, which is not a lot considering the intensity of the storm, but it was the Coast that got the brunt of the rain,” she said.

“This type of storm is unusual. It was not associated with a thunderstorm, which is the usual pattern for a summer storm. There was a very broad area of low pressure which is highly unusual for the end of August. Typically that is a fall and winter pattern.

The Salmon Arm Fire Department was kept busy Saturday with calls of downed trees and damaged power lines. There were a total of six call outs during the storm, mostly concentrated in the Gleneden area.

“There were no fire situations  and no injuries that resulted, thankfully,” said Fire Chief Brad Shirley. “There were lines down and trees on lines, that kind of thing.”

BC Hydro says more than 3,000 Shuswap customers were left without power for portions of Saturday due to the wind storm and downed trees. The largest of Saturday’s outages kept more than 1,400 customers in the dark for nearly six hours before power could be restored.

The advantage of the storm was that it helped clear off much of the smoke from fires in Washington State that has plagued the area for more than a week.

The Ministry of Environment officially rescinded the Shuswap’s smoky skies advisory on Monday, after it was first initiated on Aug. 23.

Coldwells says rain showers should continue later into this week, before the low pressure system moves off and sunnier weather is expected for the long weekend. She cautions that the temperatures are going to still be below average for the time of year.