Downed trees, hydro lines lead to highway closures on Vancouver Island
Fallen trees on Highway 4 near Port Alberni closed the route known as "The Hump." Dec. 20, 2018. (CTV Vancouver Island)
Trees snapped like matchsticks in a severe windstorm Thursday, blocking access on several major highways across Vancouver Island.
Wind toppled trees in the area around Port Alberni, closing traffic on the section of Highway 4 known as "The Hump."
Drive BC said the highway was closed two kilometres west of Port Alberni to three kilometres east of Port Alberni due to the downed trees. The highway was expected to remain closed until Friday morning, trapping some people in the community overnight.
BREAKING: Hwy4 is closed from #PortAlberni west past #CameronLake until the morning. Several trees down and will take all night. Vehicles are being turned around near the top of #TheHump. @CTVNewsVI pic.twitter.com/iQ6yRijVpz— Andrew Garland (@CTVNewsAndy) December 21, 2018
Fallen trees also blocked the same route further west, closer to Tofino between Fourth Street and the Tofino-Ucluelet Highway.
North of Qualicum Beach, Highway 19A was shut down in both directions due to a tree on the road between Sunnybeach Road and Charlton Drive.
Earlier in the day, another toppled tree fell across Highway 4 near Port Alberni, blocking the route to traffic for a couple of hours.
The route, also known as the Pacific Rim Highway, is the only highway connecting west coast towns like Tofino and Ucluelet to the east side of Vancouver Island.
At around 11:15 a.m. the tree had been cleared and Drive BC said the route had reopened to traffic.
Highway 14 between Port Renfrew and Jordan River was also briefly closed at 11 a.m. due to downed hydro lines between Parkinson Road and Old Switchback Road. That route reopened not long after, around noon.
There were also reports that fallen trees had blocked the main road in and out of the community of Youbou.