Storm ‘a bit of a whimper’ from expectations

There were winds, rains and a handful of power outages, but the remnants of post-tropical cyclone Ana did not hit the Comox Valley with significant damage or flooding.

On Monday, Environment Canada meteorologist Andre Besson said the storm would bring heavy rains and strong winds, but added the weather event is typical for this time of the year, as most storms during the fall season contain some level of sub-tropical weather.

Despite many leaves remaining on trees and heavy limbs and tree branches, Stephen Watson, stakeholder engagement and communications representative for BC Hydro, said although they were proactive and prepared, the storm was on the low side of the spectrum for the organization.

“(It was) a bit of a whimper last night and today (Tuesday) from the storm … it’s good that we prepare for these kinds of events and plan for the worst, yet even better when the actual event is relatively benign and (has) limited impacts.”

During the past few days, BC Hydro has been drawing down the Comox Lake reservoir since the previous storm last week in preparation of Ana, brining the level down 1.25 metres.

Despite concern of a ‘perfect storm’ of high tide Tuesday morning, significant rainfall and a storm surge with gusts of wind up to 70 km/h, Watson confirmed there was no concern for the high tide in regards to floodwater management.

“BC Hydro will continue to discharge high water flows from Comox Dam, at a rate of about 100 m3/s, to control the reservoir level. The public is advised to continue to stay away from the Puntledge River through this week and likely the weekend. The storms look to be relatively small but continuous through next week.”

Additionally, he confirmed there were limited power outages throughout the area.

Wind guests reached 57 km/h at the Comox weather station Monday night, but did not have an impact on flights at the Comox Valley Airport.

There were no flights delayed due to weather, and the airport’s CEO Fred Bigelow said wind is generally not a problem unless the crosswinds are particularly strong.

“Crosswinds exceeding 40 km/h can affect small aircraft and large aircraft can be affected at about 60 km/h,” he explained. “YQQ’s runway systems are strategically built to avoid high crosswinds from fall and winter storms, so it is rare that our aircraft would be affected.”

He added while gusts were reported as high as 60 km/h Tuesday, they were coming from the southeast, which is the same direction as the runway, so the wind does not create much of a problem.

A wind warning remained in effect for most of Tuesday, with winds easing throughout the evening.

With under 50 mm of rain falling during the  total event, the storm did not break records, as the greatest amount of precipitation to fall on Oct. 27 was 46.2mm in 1977.


Environment Canada is forecasting rain throughout the remainder of the week and throughout the weekend with highs reaching 11C and lows around 8C.



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