West Kelowna  

Can't go home

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.

Over 15 people have been evacuated at Antlers Beach Mobile Home Park after trees came crashing down during a storm Monday morning.

Resident John Wardley said five homes have been sent to the Peachland Recreation Centre after firefighters came to inspect the area.

“Firefighters drove up and did an assessment and said we have to get people out of these homes,” said Wardley. “This thing is coming down.”

One tree is leaning over homes already hit by two trees on Monday afternoon.

Castanet contacted Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin who said the safety of residents is her first priority.

“We are bringing in a crane to hold the tree in place that is leaning,” said Fortin. “They contacted a company and they are coming in to do that.”

Fortin said they will hold the tree in place as soon as they can so it doesn’t fall and cause more damage.

“The people have been evacuated to keep them safe… that was really important,” she said. "We can worry about whose property it is on later."

"I am just beyond relieved that nobody was hurt," she said.

Residents living at number 18 to 22 are not allowed to return home for three days, according to Wardley.

More rain and wind is expected Monday night with a 30 per cent chance of showers, a risk of a thunderstorm and winds upwards of 20 km/h.

ORIGINAL: 2:20 p.m.

Residents of Antlers Beach Mobile Home Park in Peachland are glad to be alive after a scary Sunday night when trees crashed down, smashing into homes.

The storm brought winds of up to 100 km/h, knocking down trees onto five homes about 2:30 a.m.

Paul Whitfield was sleeping when an eight-foot branch smashed right through his living room.

“All I heard was a really loud bang, enough to wake me up, and I came out here and found this,” he said.

Whitfield said he was lucky the branch didn't come through his bedroom.

His neighbour also awoke as the tree landed just inches away from his bed.

“I hear a big crack, actually a couple of cracks… and then as this tree came down I could hear the branches snapping off,” said John Wardley. "I tucked and rolled."

The tree fell from an embankment up the road and hit four homes.

“Fortunately for me, one of those trees saved my skin because it stopped it from landing on my house,” said Wardley.

Another neighbour’s deck took the brunt of the force and protected the tree from destroying his home.

“I visited with my neighbour because he probably would have been killed if he didn’t have his deck on top,” said Whitfield.

Wardley grabbed a flashlight and ran over to another neighbour.

“I went and checked on the neighbours because I knew there was an eight-year-old boy and his grandmother, and where the tree landed, (it) was above the bed they were sleeping in,” he said.

Residents scrambled to clean up the debris on Monday, but Wardley said they are worried more trees may come down. Another tree is leaning right over the top of the homes and looks as if it could crack any minute.

“You can see all the weight is on one side ... we feel that is imminent if we get another wind.”

All four families said they won’t be sleeping in their homes tonight.

Mayor Cindy Fortin said she would be looking into safety concerns at the park.

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