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Crews in Vancouver still cleaning up after the wicked windstorm

14th Avenue and Woodland in Vancouver (Aug 31/15) (Shannon Brennan, NEWS 1130 Photo)

City of Vancouver had 1,800 calls to respond to after a storm toppled trees and knocked out power

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It has been almost two weeks since that vicious windstorm toppled trees and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people in the Lower Mainland.

And while road closures and downed power lines are behind us, clean-up crews in Vancouver still have their hands full.

“Now we’re just cleaning up some of the neighbourhoods where it’s not blocking a roadway but there’s still some trees or stumps on the boulevard,” says Jerry Dobrovolny, the City of Vancouver‘s acting head of engineering.

“They’re not blocking streets but some of the trees came down on cars, came down on houses. So, we continue with that work,” he adds.

Surrey is faring much better; Operations Manager Rob Costanzo says crews finished the last of their clean-up late last week.

But in Vancouver, with more than 1,800 calls to respond to and more than 500 uprooted and damaged trees, crews are still working long days.

There isn’t a final tally yet for clean-up costs but damage to public property will have to be factored in.

“The next piece will be some repairs. Some of the sidewalks were damaged and that sort of thing. So once the wood is removed, we’ll go and repair the sidewalks and any damage that remains,” says Dobrovolny.

“Some of the electrical infrastructure [is damaged]. Some of the sidewalks were lifted, as well. So, the first order of business is to get the trees out and then to repair any damage to sidewalks or utility poles.”

He notes there’s no exact date yet for when the final clean-up will be finished.