Kitimat blizzard and blackout February 5 to 9, 2015

Kitimat blizzard and blackout February 5 to 9, 2015

Digging out in Kitimat

Attempting to dig out in Kitimat, as the blzzard continues, Saturday morning, Feb. 7, 2015. (Robin Rowland)

A “Pineapple Express” brought a major blizzard to the Kitimat region last week, dropping approximately 180 centimetres of snow from the morning of Thursday, February 5, 2015 until the skies cleared late on the afternoon of Saturday, February 7. In my neighborhood, the power first went out at about 3 pm on Thursday, came back at 11 pm. It went out about 11 am on Friday and didn’t come back until about 2:30 pm on Saturday.

Power was also out at Kitamaat Village from Thursday until late Sunday.  Early Sunday morning, the Haisla Nation Council ordered a voluntary evacuation, with two convoys of vehicles heading to Kitimat. While many people stayed with friends and families, about 20 people took refuge at the Riverlodge Leisure Centre. Other members of the Haisla Nation stayed in the village, gathering at the Haisla Recreation Centre.

The clean up continues in Kitimat.

Images from Thursday night until Wednesday afternoon. A mixture of photos and frame grabs from video.

This gallery does not include the images I fed to The Canadian Press.

Here is a link to the CBC News photo gallery of my CP images.


Thursday, February 5, 2015,  approximately 6:15 pm



At this point, early into the storm, all the power was out in Kitimat, with the exception of the street lights on Haisla Boulevard, which illuminated a few trees as I shot this on Albatross Avenue. Sony Alpha 6000, ISO 3200, 1/30, F3.5 from my window. (Robin Rowland)  (Higher ISO images were too noisy)

Friday February 6

Trees in park

The same view, from ground level, the next morning. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)


Heavy snow on branches (Robin Rowland)

Heavy snow fal;s

As the power goes out again on Friday, heavy snow continues to fall. (Robin Rowland)

Trying to dig out

Trying to dig out in the early afternoon. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)


A pick up tries to make it through the heavy snow. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)


A District of Kitimat crew digs out the fire hydrant in front of my house, Friday afternoon. (Robin Rowland)


A woman in white makes her way through the blizzard, Friday afternoon. (Robin Rowland)


The snow was really heavy near sundown on Friday. (Robin Rowland)


Trying to dig out as night falls. Note that is supposed to be a pedestrian crossing. (Robin Rowland)


Front end loader

Friday night

This front end loader was called in late Friday evening. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)…….

Fire truck

….so a Kitimat Fire and Rescue pumper could get back to the fire hall. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)

Saturday morning

Lights come on

About 3 am Saturday, some lights came on in the Kildala neighborhood, while much of the rest of Kitimat was still in the dark. (Robin Rowland)

Buried Kitimat

On Saturday morning, much of Kitimat was buried under about 170 centimetres and the snow was still falling. (Robin Rowland)


Digging out begins again as the blizzard tapers off. (Robin Rowland)



A raven flies overhead as the snow stops falling. (Robin Rowland)

walking isn snow

As the storm ends, two people walk on the heavy snow on Albatross Avenue. (Robin Rowland)


Snow scene

With the storm ending, the beauty of the trees and snow. (Robin Rowland)

View of the channel

A view of the snow covered Kitimat estuary and Douglas Channel after the storm. (Robin Rowland)

Sunday, February 8

haislacoks3Volunteer chefs hard at work in the Riverlodge Leisure Centre kitchen during the voluntary evacuation of Kitamaat Village. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)



Digging out the trailer park. Framegrab.  (Robin Rowland)

Roadblock on Village Road

BC Hydro contractors at a road block at the entrance to the Kitamaat Village Road. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)


Monday, February 9


Clearing a roof


Clearing a roof Monday morning. Framegrab.  (Robin Rowland)

Heavy snow on roofs
The snow was clearly a heavy load on one roof. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)



On Monday morning, side streets were still clogged with snow. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)



And the Service Centre was still digging out. Framegrab  (Robin Rowland)

District Snowblower
While the District of Kitimat snowblower was still working on main roads, like Nalibila. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)




A snowblower clears the sidewalk behind my house. For those not familiar with Kitimat, as part of the original Garden City plan, sidewalks are generally behind houses. (Robin Rowland)



Heavy equipment digs out the fire hydrant in front of my house. As seen above it’s usually two guys with shovels. I estimated there was at least three metres, perhaps four metres, of snow on top of the hydrant, put there earlier by the snow blower clearing the street. (Robin Rowland)