Crews work to clear branches from the Peninsula’s waterfront tracks Tuesday. (Contributed photo)

Waterfront rail cleanup on-track

Crews were busy near the 16 Avenue access to Crescent Beach Tuesday

Crews working to clear branches from the Peninsula’s waterfront tracks Tuesday were not dealing with any “blocking event,” railway officials say.

But BNSF inspectors will be keeping a close eye on things in light of high winds expected today, spokesman Gus Melonas said.

“There’s no safety issues to this point, but we do expect high winds (Wednesday), so we’ll have inspectors keeping a close eye,” Melonas told Peace Arch News Tuesday evening.

An area resident reported finding the work in progress after noticing fewer trains along the line, and said he suspected winds were behind the debris.

According to Environment Canada, winds were expected to gust up to 80 km/h Tuesday afternoon. Heavy rains were expected to return overnight, followed by more rain and wind for Wednesday.

Stormy weather was also blamed for power outages in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast, and BC Hydro reported that more than 19,000 customers were without service as a result of rain and wind that swept through the region Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Melonas said track inspectors have been monitoring the rail bed due to “high winds in northwest Canada down to Portland.”

Small sticks and limbs have been found and cleared, “but in terms of anything out of the ordinary, no.”

He noted that a tree near McBride Avenue in Crescent Beach is being eyed for removal.

“We had an arborist out (Tuesday). It’s a dead tree that could be a potential threat to our trains,” Melonas said.

He described that plan as “in the development stage.”

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