A tree fell into a Lumby home following a windstorm that knocked out power in the area Tuesday night, March 3. (Kirsten Merrifield photo)

Tree crashes into Lumby home

Tuesday night’s storm knocked out power throughout the Okanagan and Shuswap

A Lumby resident got a late-night scare after her home was assailed by falling trees during a strong windstorm.

Power outages were reported throughout the Okanagan and Shuswap regions after Tuesday night’s windstorm, most of which were due to power lines downed by fallen trees — a hazard Kirsten Merrifield is now all too familiar with.

Merrifield said the wind woke her up shortly after midnight, and she considered moving from he bedroom to the downstairs floor of her house on Mabel Lake Road.

“Probably no more than five to 10 minutes after that I heard tree branches breaking and then a crash on my house,” she said.

Merrifield turned on her bedroom lights to find a hole in her roof with insulation sticking out. Upon inspection, she discovered a fir tree in her yard had been torn up by the roots, had taken down a cedar tree on its way down and both trees had landed on her roof, with one tree also falling on her truck.

“Luckily for me, it hit the corner of my bedroom. If it had gone two feet over to the left it would have went right through my bedroom and I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Merrifield said she’s spoken to Wise Wood Trees and Total Restoration Services to take care of the mess.

House insurance will cover all of the costs short of cutting up and moving out the trees.

Merrifield suspects the fallen trees could have been partly caused by the cut block that runs behind and to the left of her home.

“The wind has been coming through there like crazy,” Merrifield said.

She said the folks at Wise Wood told her trees account for the wind when they grow and can be unstable if a cut block alters the wind flow.

“(The tree) had short roots up top and long roots on the bottom, so now that the wind is just barrelling through there, it didn’t have the root system on that side to support it,” she said.

Merrifield said when Wide Wood arrives later today, she’ll ask them to inspect the other trees in her yard.

“I’m thinking I’m going to have to harvest a lot of these trees that are behind here so that this doesn’t happen again.”

READ MORE: Tornadoes devastate Tennessee, killing at least 19 people

READ MORE: Shuswap windstorm a reminder to clear trees from hydro lines

Environment Canada meteorologist Jonathan Bau told Black Press staff Wednesday the storm had swept from Alberta across southern B.C. just after midnight Tuesday and peaked at 84-kilometres per hour.

Bau said the weather system’s southwest-to-northwest direction may have magnified the storm’s effects as it swept down nearby mountainsides and billowed across Shuswap Lake.


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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