A woman was killed in her bed when a tree smashed through the roof of her home in Port Moody, B.C., during a powerful windstorm this morning.
Mayor Mike Clay said the tree, which he estimated was about 70 centimetres in diameter at the base, toppled onto the house in the hillside neighbourhood east of Vancouver around 6:30 a.m. PT during the height of the storm.
"Unfortunately that part of the house goes right through the master bedroom," he said. "From what I understand the woman was in bed."
Clay said he had not personally talked to the family, but the city's victims services team had helped them move out of the house, which was no longer safe to inhabit.
"We will obviously do whatever we can to help them," he said.
Storm picked up Thursday morning
The windstorm struck the South Coast of the province late Wednesday night. It then picked up again on Thursday morning around 6 a.m. PT, knocking down trees and cutting power to 110,000 BC Hydro customers just as the morning commute was getting underway.
Many schools in the Fraser Valley were closed for the day and BC Ferries was forced to cancel several early morning sailings.
"I know when I went to bed last night the wind was just howling up here.... And then it dropped off ... and then it came back up quite abruptly this morning," said Clay.
The fallen tree was on a green belt behind the family's property on Alpine Place and was one of the largest in the forested neighbourhood, said Clay.
"This is forested hillside. We get a couple calls a year where the arborists check the trees. If they do have a problem they get taken down," he said.