Workers labour to free a semi buried under an avalanche of trees.

Workers labour to free a semi buried under an avalanche of trees.

Tree avalanche slows traffic

If you were wondering what slowed traffic on Hwy. 19 for several hours last week, wonder no more.

  • Mar. 21, 2012 11:00 a.m.

If you were wondering what slowed traffic on Hwy. 19 for several hours last week, wonder no more.

About noon March 13, Port McNeill RCMP received a report from Western Forest Products staff who said the main highway might be dangerous for people to travel on due to downed trees and power lines.

Sgt. Phil Lue was soon at the scene — a location approximately six- or seven-km south of Nimpkish Camp — where he saw about 30 vehicles that could not pass the accident scene where several trees, some quite large, had fallen across the road.

Other trees had  fallen onto a tractor trailer that had stopped due to the trees across the road.

Luckily, numerous Western Forest Products staff were on the scene and in the process of removing the trees and clearing the road.

Lue said everyone was lucky that there were no injuries and the tractor trailer was not severely damaged.

The road was eventually cleared to the point where single lane, alternating traffic was passable. However, the highway remained closed for several more hours to allow all the trees and associated debris to be removed.

“Port McNeill RCMP would like to thank Western Forest Products —specifically Andrew Brown and his crew — for all the assistance in clearing the trees and allowing traffic to resume flowing,” said Lue.

“We are extremely lucky that no one was injured and property damage was minimal—I guess this is a good reminder that Mother Nature is not to be messed with!”