Parts of Coldstream were on high alert as a massive storm toppled trees and fuelled flooding.
At about 9 p.m., Monday, a combination of thunder, lightning, intense rain and hail descended on the neighbourhood by the municipal office.
“It hit hard and fast. There was no warning,” said Dave Sturgeon, Coldstream fire chief.
Lightning tore apart a tree across from the Coldstream Market, forcing a pair of cyclists to hunker down inside the store, which was pitch black as power was knocked out to the area.
Next to the Women’s Institute Hall, occupants of a duplex evacuated as a 120-foot tree precariously hung over the structure.
Farther up Kalamalka Road, the Wisbey family’s well-treed property evolved into chaos.
“It was like dominoes, one coming down after the other,” said Brandie Wisbey, who was home with her husband and two daughters.
“I can honestly say I was scared. We went from leaving to get into the basement now. It was the safest place.”
On Tuesday morning, the Wisbeys began cleaning up 12 willow or maple trees that were either split in half by wind or had roots pulled out.
On Birch Lane, Doug Cuthbert had to contend with large limbs on the roof, some of which penetrated the carport.
“I heard a crack and then I came out, and it (tree) was through the ceiling,” said Cuthbert.
Elsewhere in Coldstream, a willow tree slammed into Ed Lifton’s home on Buchanan Road.
“It took a corner of the roof out,” he said.
Beyond the wind and falling trees, the heavy rain led to significant water pooling up on Kalamalka Road and in yards, and there were some reports of localized flooding.
Coldstream firefighters, with assistance from the Lavington department, responded to 11 calls during the storm.
“B.C. Hydro was following us and cutting lines so they didn’t energize when they touched the ground,” said Sturgeon. “It was a trying night but once we got a system together, things started to progress.”
Environment Canada reports there were 202 lightning strikes within a 50-kilometre circle of Vernon during the storm and 20.4 millimetres of rain fell at the Coldstream Ranch weather station.