‘It’s heartbreaking’: Hundreds flock to White Rock pier to see storm’s aftermath

For some it was exciting to dig through the debris, but for many it was shocking and saddening to see the pier in two

The promenade at the White Rock pier was bustling with hundreds Friday, during what otherwise would have been a surprisingly warm day to spend by the ocean.

But the views of the city’s iconic pier cut in two, large piles of debris and shipwrecked boats served as a stark reminder of the damage done just a day before by one of the most severe storms in B.C.’s recent history.

“Actually, it kind of broke my heart,” Carmen Braun told Black Press Media. The former White Rock resident decided to visit the beach from her home in Langley, camera in hand, documenting the destruction for herself.

“It’s been around so long and it’s just such a landmark for this area. Growing up we used to always come down here and people would jump off the pier, dive off the pier – we’d sing under the pier – and it was great.”

Thursday’s damage will take several months to repair and is anticipated to cost well into the millions of dollars, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker told reporters Friday.

“But trust me, our pier will be restored,” Walker said.

READ MORE: Recovery, cleanup and looting in aftermath of White Rock’s storm

PHOTOS: White Rock pier crumbles under massive waves, winds

White Rock officials have already been in contact with the provincial and federal government to determine costs and other repair fees. In the meantime, the first steps will be cleaning up the walkway and beachfront – a task some residents have volunteered to begin themselves.

Loki and Tristan Chalmers, 6 and 9, spent much of the morning exploring the shore with their parents. Tristan found a small plastic ball, and a rock that he said he’d be keeping to “mark the destruction.”

The brothers were excited to still be able to walk along a chunk of the pier that had been swept ashore – a spot on the beach that has turned into a temporary photo op.

“We just went on the pier again for the last time, we went on the wreckage,” Tristan said.

While it’s not clear how long the chunk of pier will remain on the beach before crews remove it and the number of boats also stuck, officials predict it will be upwards of months until the city staple will be open to the public.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A chunk of the pier in White Rock ripped apart by strong waves and loose boats. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media

Just Posted

ARTS AROUND: Giant Book Sale has new date, new location

Book sale will take place in November at Alberni Athletic Hall

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Yukon writer reads at virtual Alberni Valley Words on Fire

Joanna Lilley will make her appearance on May 27

Port Alberni gift card site kickstarts post-COVID-19 economy

City, chamber of commerce collaborate on novel ‘shop local’ plan

Broombusters will clean up the greenery at Canal Waterfront Park

Volunteers are needed for Friday morning, May 22 to help cut down invasive plants

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read