An uprooted tree in Skaha Lake Park shows the power of the winds that tore through the Okanagan Valley today. (Courtesy City of Penticton)

Windstorm closes Skaha Lake Park

The Penticton park was closed temporarily Tuesday when high winds caused safety concerns.

Skaha Lake Park is reopened after high winds caused concern for visitor safety.

The park was closed Tuesday afternoon when a storm, accompanied by high winds, tore down the Okanagan Valley.

“Seven large pine trees have fallen and there is minor damage to a hockey court,” wrote Joanne Kleb, the city’s community engagement officer, in a release Tuesday afternoon.

Peter Weeber, the city’s chief administrative officer, said the city wasn’t as concerned about the trees as the park users.

“We were more concerned about public safety. We are going to let the wnd do its thing and then come back to it,” said Weeber, adding that the city received reports of trees being blown violently by the winds.

City staff have secured the areas where the trees are down or are leaning and all other areas have been reopened for visitors.

“Visitors are asked to avoid the secured areas. Staff are monitoring the situation and will clean up the fallen trees on Wednesday and reopen the remaining areas of the park,” said Kleb.

High winds were also a problem in Summerland, where the winds blew over a tree in Memorial Park, and caused power outages in some areas of the city. On Prairie Valley Road near Cartwright Mountain, a tree struck a power line.

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