‘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

Salmon Arm’s paving, pothole patching programs to begin in May

Long hard winter takes toll on roads, street cleaning underway

Last-minute hiring means Salmon Arm’s emergency shelter can remain open

Salvation Army’s Lighthouse shelter to stay open beyond normal closing date of April 1

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP donating raise to support food banks, women’s shelters

Mel Arnold said pay increase legislation didn’t account for a crisis like COVID-19

COVID-19: Non-profit 3D printing face shields for local hospital

‘The response has been completely overwhelming’

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Outbreak of COVID-19 at Okanagan agricultural business, 14 cases confirmed

75 workers at West Kelowna business are in isolation – 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers

Community drums up support for North Okanagan hospital workers

Even health care workers and fellow first responders turned out to show love

South Okanagan first responders salute hospital workers

“You’re awesome” and “Thank you” say Penticton first responders, passing by emergency entrance

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

‘April Fools’ social media prank leads to criminal investigation in Osoyoos

Post claims individuals will be canvassing door to door seeking housing for seasonal workers

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Most Read