Teen killed by falling tree as violent storm strikes B.C. and another, more powerful one is on the way

A heavy storm battering the region turned tragic Friday when a 15-year-old teen was struck and killed by a tree in .

According to Surrey RCMP, emergency crews were called to a wooded park area near School around 2:25 p.m. after a tree was felled by the strong winds. It had trapped a teen boy.

Surrey Fire Service Deputy Chief Larry Thomas said four firefighters were able to remove the tree from the student and immediately began administering first aid. B.C. Ambulance soon arrived and paramedics took the student to .

Later in the day, Surrey RCMP confirmed the teen had died in hospital, and that the RCMP’s youth section and the B.C. Coroner’s Service were investigating the “unfortunate accident.”

The strong winds brought trees down and power outages across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island but residents have little time to clean up as a third, more powerful storm approaches the B.C. Coast.

Shane MacKichan for Postmedia
Shane MacKichan for PostmediaEmergency personnel work at the scene near Clayton Heights School in Surrey, B.C., where a 15-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree during Friday’s wind storm.

said the storm is forecast to hit this afternoon with winds rising late this afternoon and reaching warning level this evening.

The storm, which carries energy and moisture from the remnants of Typhoon Songda, is forecast to cross southern Vancouver Island tonight and then move onto the Sunshine Coast. Southerly winds gusting up to 100 km/h will ease by early Sunday morning.

Rain, at times heavy, is also expected with more than 50 mm is forecast for Howe Sound, East Vancouver Island, and the North Shore. Thunderstorms may precede and follow the storm.

Environment Canada said rainfall totals are harder to estimate than winds with this . More rainfall warnings may be issued as Environment Canada meteorologists track the through today and Sunday.

B.C. Hydro is recommending residents prepare for further possible power outages.

On social media, people reported trees down across the Lower Mainland. Many residents were worried about other trees being uprooted and falling on their homes.

“There’s lots of trees that need attention,” said Gina Thor, who lives near a 15-metre-high tree that came down causing minimal damage to a housing complex.

“We have a very large tree outside our front door. But it’s going to be what it’s going to be.”

About two blocks away, another tree had come down on the roof of a townhouse causing an unspecified amount of damage.

“I heard a bang and saw the leaves flying,” said Cathy , who lives a few houses away. “My son said ‘Mom, the tree just came down’.”

Davidson said she’s concerned about the high winds because she has a couple of 20-metre-high fir trees in her backyard.

Davidson said there’s also a wedding planned at her house Saturday with guests coming from across the province, including Vancouver Island. “We hope they all get here.”

Local resident Stephanie Von Dehn said she was shocked by the damage and was also worried about a 15-metre tree in front of her house. “But I love that tree and I don’t want it to come down.”

Bonnie Dodds, who has a 30-metre-high pine tree in front of her house, said the tree is a concern during the windstorm. “But that’s what happens when these storms come through. We have to brace ourselves.”

The storm, which started Wednesday night, was expected to dump 80 to 200 millimetres of precipitation in parts of the province, causing possible river flooding over the weekend.

Heavy rains caused a creek in Mission to overflow on Thursday night, flooding nearby businesses. The public is being warned to stay clear of rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks.

Severe damage has already been recorded in some areas, including North Vancouver, where residents of a home on Silverdale Place were greeted Thursday morning by a large tree that had been brought down by the first in the series of storms, crushing an SUV that had been parked in the driveway.

With files from Almas Meherally and Victoria Times Colonist

About Stephanie Ip, Jennifer Saltman and Brian Morton, Postmedia News