Windstorm leaves trail of destruction in Kelowna

Windstorm leaves trail of destruction in Kelowna

The destructive power of an overnight storm was evident along Kelowna’s waterfront Monday morning.

The windstorm downed trees and left boats and debris piled-up along the shore, with the worst of the damage seen by the Kelowna Yacht Club.

Many of the 800 boats moored at the club faced the extent of the storm’s power, with one sailboat confirmed sunk.

Sam Small owns a vessel that was parked nearby the boat that is now at the bottom of the lake. While his boat is facing thousands of dollars in damage, the Kelowna resident says it could’ve been a lot worse.

“I walked on the dock and my heart kind of sunk when I saw it,” Small said.

“There’s no actual damage to the hull of the boat so I’m counting my blessings, but I feel for everyone coming out here this morning and seeing their thousands of dollars go down the drain.”

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Volunteers and staff of the Yacht Club got the call Sunday night around 10 p.m. that winds were smashing the breakwater and ripping boats out of their ties. Some vessels had their hulls cracked, others had windshields smashed, and one boat was beached.

Damage to the Yacht Club itself is into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it is estimated the individual cost for boat owners will top a million dollars.

Close by, conditions were so bad that a large float plane was flipped onto its side and the famous “Bluffs” sign across the lake blew over. A local rental company even sustained enough damage to its fleet of personal water vehicles that they’ll have to shut down for the season.

The long cleanup started late Sunday night after the storm passed through, but power and water were still out in the area Monday morning for safety reasons.

A boat owner at the Kelowna Yacht Club estimates the storm also caused over a million dollars worth of damage there.

Environment Canada recorded winds gusting up to 54 km/hr overnight.