The beloved pier in the town of White Rock, B.C., suffered major damage in Thursday's windstorm and will take months to repair, city officials say.
As many as three broke away from their moorage because of winning winds and crashed through part of the White Rock pier, whereby a 42-year-old man caught the quay for more than an hour. He was lifted by helicopter in a dramatic rescue.
Crews worked overnight and into Friday morning to assess the damage. The city says that the pier, promenade and East Beach are closed so far.
"I've lived here 50 years," said White Rock mayor Darryl Walker. "I've never seen a storm like this. I've never seen destruction like this."
"Trust me, our port will be restored," he added.
People are asked to stay away from the waterfront and respect barricades that are in place.
Walker said construction engineers will investigate the pier in the coming months. He said there would probably be more harm than the 30-meter section that struck off.
"Before anyone goes back there, we need to know it's safe," he said.
The city does not have a cost estimate for repairs yet, but it could run into millions, said Walker.
Walker said tourism and local businesses would take a blow from the damaged pier he called the jewel of society.
Safety at the pier
Officials will also reassess the policies of closing the pier in severe wind conditions.
Chief of fire Phil Lemire said that the pier and promenade have been closed in the past during bad weather, but that they have been struggling with people who ignore the closures.
Walker said he didn't think the city would stop the boats from being moored at the pier, but he would talk to boat owners about safety.
From Friday morning, about 300 homes in White Rock remain without electricity. BC Hydro said about 140,000 customers all over the country are still in the dark from 9 am 12 PT on Friday.
By-people make triage on city roads and paths to remove descending trees and living wires.
The city has reception centers open at Centennial Park, Kent Street and the White Rock Community Center.
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The west side of the promenade is open, but it can last until the end of January before the east side reopens, the city says.
On Friday morning, the area was filled with dirt, including Styrofoam and empty fuel tanks. Three boats owned by a local yacht co-op are also washed ashore.
Tim Marron was among the lucky ones, with his nine meter sailboat still safe. The White Rock resident said about 30 boats had flopped away or suffered damage.
"It's pretty lucky for us," he said. "I feel terrible for the clubs and all the other boat owners because it's hard to take."
He added, "It's just property and no one was hurt."