Residents of this Langley neighbourhood woke up Tuesday morning to discover a light coating of what appeared to be pollen covering their cars. June Fancello, who has asthma and seasonal allergies, said it has affected her health. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

A dusty start to spring in Langley

“Moderate” online pollen count in forecast

An overnight dump of what was likely pollen in Langley caused a brief flurry of comments and speculation on social media Tuesday morning.

One commenter said the dust was thick enough to draw pictures, while another wondered who was spraying what in their neighbourhood and still another posted a Game Of Thrones meme that said “Pollen is coming.”

June Fancello, who lives in the 4600 block of 203 Street told the Times she thought it might be frost when she got up and first saw it on her car.

When she realized it was something else, she noticed that virtually every car on the street was visibly covered.

She ran her vehicle through a car wash, and a few hours later, saw that more powder had landed.

“My car was clean last night,” she said.

Fancelleo, who has asthma and seasonal allergies, said the dust wasn’t creating serious health problems for her, though she has been sneezing more than usual and getting a “little winded” on the stairs of her home.

As she was talking to the Times, a bird took off from a nearby tree, causing a puff of dust.

There were still several cars covered with the powder parked on the street.

Another resident of the area, Linda (who declined to give her last name), was sure it was pollen released by the neighbourhood cedar trees after a few days of warm, dry weather.

“It happens yearly,” Linda said.

READ MORE: Lower Mainland hits record high spring temps

An online pollen count for Langley posted by the Weather Network said a “moderate” amount of pollen was expected from cedar and juniper trees over the next three days.

Juniper and cedar pollen starts causing problems in late February or March, lasting until April or May.

The pollen can travel as far as 200 km from the originating trees depending on the wind, causing symptoms that may include sneezing, a runny or clogged nose, coughing and postnasal drip, itching eyes, nose, and throat.

They can also cause “allergic shiners” which are dark circles under the eyes caused by increased blood flow near the sinuses.

The powder has been reported in at least one other area, near 199 Street and 50 Avenue, according to City of Langley staff, who said the municipality wasn’t carrying out spraying that night.

There was some speculation the powder might be the result of a major fire somewhere in Metro Vancouver, but that could not be confirmed.

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