“Crazy” and “post-apocalyptic” were the kind of descriptions the Vancouverites used Saturday to describe the devastation they saw along Stanley Park’s iconic beach rampart.
Cleanup from Friday’s storm that combined strong winds, one storm surge and one king tide – causing significant damage in both Vancouver and West Vancouver – was only in progress. There is as yet no assessment of the cost of repairs.
Stanley Park remained closed to the public today, but that did not stop dozens of people from coming to get a first-hand look at what nature had created.
More extreme weather is causing chaos in Metro Vancouver
The Third Beach area and the stretch of beach embankment between Teahouse Restaurant and Siwash Rock carried most of the storm, with the sidewalk tense or directly washed away in some parts of the coastal path.
Some areas looked as if they had been hit by an earthquake instead of a windstorm.
In a statement, the Vancouver Park Board said the park will remain closed between Sunset Beach and Lions Gate Bridge until further notice. The staff will assess the damage and carry out clean-up.
The Jericho pier in Kitsilano also suffered significant damage, with boards visibly tense and covered with tree trunks and other debris.
The pier suffered previous damage during another royal tide in November.
In West Vancouver, crews were in Ambleside Park with heavy equipment, and began the arduous process of clearing up damage to the city’s boardwalk.
Rocks, tree trunks and other basketball-sized debris were strewn across the popular promenade.
The seafront, along with both the Ambleside and Dundarave piers, will remain closed until further notice.
The West Vancouver district said the storm and associated flooding were “the worst we’ve seen in decades,” but added that it was not unexpected in the context of climate change and sea level rise.
Canada 2019 Changing Climate Report projects Vancouver will experience a sea level rise of as much as 50 centimeters compared to the level in 2000 by the end of the century.
British Columbia Government has advised the municipalities to plan a sea level rise at 50 centimeters in 2050 and one meter in 2100.
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