- The Westshore
- The aftermath of a damaging windstorm
The aftermath of a damaging windstorm
Plus, biking in Colwood, home fire, community dinner, and more
Many of you probably experienced a power outage after a huge storm hit the Island and caused lots of damage Tuesday morning. With many areas affected, check out how the Westshore is dealing with the aftermath in today’s newsletter.
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Storm causes massive damage in the Westshore
Vancouver Island residents are recovering after severe wind storms caused damage to the entirety of the Island. Winds hit the Island at up to 100km/h in Sooke, which was the area most affected in the Jan. 9 storm. With municipalities and companies working on damage and closures, many in the community are still facing effects from the weather.
BC Hydro reported that around 16,000 customers lost power on Tuesday morning; at least three schools in Sooke closed as a result of outages. BC Hydro has finally fixed power outages in the Westshore after a few days of damage control.
“We estimate about 1,000 customers will be without power overnight, including other areas of Sooke, as well as Port Renfrew and Jordan where fallen trees and power lines have made access challenging,” BC Hydro said in an update on Jan. 9 at 9:30pm. “Our crews will work through the night to restore power to remaining customers; we want to thank you again for your patience while we work through restoration.”
With dangerous conditions, the CRD also limited access to certain roads in the area. The City of Colwood closed off access to Albert Head Lagoon’s bridge due to high tides and flooding and began working to reopen the bridge once tides had receded. Delgada Road has reopened.
Whiffin Spit Park and the Sooke Bluffs are finally open after closing due to the impact from the storm, and the East Sooke Regional Park has allowed access again after the CRD team finished removing trees blocking Pike Road.
Tree damage caused not only power outages and road closures, but also a lot of property damage. CHEK news reported two incidents of families having trees crash into their homes. Dennis and Pat Beggs from Langford heard a loud crash on Tuesday morning and realized a tree that had been on their property for over 30 years had crashed into their home and its branches had poked holes in the roof and broke windows. While the home is still safe to continue living in, the couple is hoping the tree will be removed and repairs will start soon.
Another family in Sooke says they’re facing upwards of $25,000 in repair damages as the result of a tree falling through their home as well. With the tree measuring at around 100 feet long, inspectors told them it would take a crane to safely remove the tree. The family is frustrated, as repairs will take 6-12 weeks and their second floor is unusable due to safety concerns.
While the storm has passed, municipalities are still trying to aid those affected by the damage and residents will have to be patient as aid is underway.
How were you affected by the storms?
Capital Bike helps Colwood gear up for fun and safe cycling
Biking better, biking safer, biking together. These were the themes James Coates, education coordinator for Capital Bike programs shared with Colwood city council members as his organization gears up for the 30th GoByBike (formerly Bike to Work) event the week of Feb. 5-11. GoByBike is a behaviour change campaign that promotes the environmental, physical and mental health benefits of recreational bike riding.
Last year, 170 Colwood residents participated in GoByBike covering 1,700 kilometres over the course of the campaign. Capital Bike had a celebration station on the Galloping Goose trail where it crosses Sooke Road which offered items such as refreshments, T-shirts, and local corporate and small business sponsors also gave out free promotional materials. Last year 76 people from Colwood visited that station. With the announcement of the construction of the new overpass, that route and site may change for this year’s event.
Capital Bike is a not-for-profit organization that now has five full-time staff and employs two co-op students. Since 1991, they have been key in getting bike lanes and trails built as well as supporting making the region more bike friendly. They also support programming for all ages that promotes safe riding and rider etiquette that provides young and old with the skills and knowledge to make cycling an easy, fun and safe transportation option.
Around the 'Shore
💻 Sooke fundraiser tired of facing cyberbullying: Sooke local Benjamin Kendrick is stepping down from his role in organizing an annual online holiday fundraiser for the local food bank after cyberbullying, including death threats, took a toll on his mental health. Kendrick started the Facebook group titled Meanwhile in Sooke in 2016 and launched an annual fundraiser through the group that has raised over $100,000 in the past eight years for the Sooke Food Bank. Despite the positivity of the action, Kendrick has faced online threats since the beginning, and says he needs to take a step back because the bullying has been particularly bad this year. [CHEK]
🔥 Esquimalt home damaged in fire on Jan. 9: Esquimalt Fire responded to a report of a house fire at 11:40am on Grenville Avenue that resulted in significant damage to the home. The fire department remained on scene for around two hours, and were glad to report that no one was injured as the homeowner was not at home at the time. [Times Colonist]
💁 Looking for support? The compassionate counsellors at Intertidal Counselling & Wellness provide personalized guidance for your wellbeing. Book a session today and start your journey towards healing.*
📦 New local vegan meal prep delivery in Greater Victoria: A new locally owned and operated meal prep subscription service called Easy Vegan has just announced its opening in Greater Victoria. Owner and founder Jocelyn Light created the service to help the community access convenient, fresh, and delicious plant-based meal options with locally sourced ingredients, and is delivering to a number of cities throughout the area. [Victoria Buzz]
🍽️ Community Dinner: Join the Gordon United Church on Goldstream Avenue for their monthly community dinner this Jan. 15. Starting at 5pm, enjoy delicious food made by volunteers from donations, and come together with the community in this free event.
🎨 Crafts for kids: Looking for an activity to do with your kid? Every Saturday, the Sooke Library is having a craft activity suitable for kids aged three to 12 in their multipurpose room. Going from 11am-12pm, this is a free drop-in event.
🧘🏼♀ Body and Mind Psychic Fair: The Metchosin Community Hall will be host to the Body and Mind Psychic Fair this Jan. 14 from 11am to 5pm. With free admission and gift bags for the first 30 guests, the fair will feature some of the region’s talented psychics, mediums and astrologers, as well as a variety of vendors and artisans.
🚢 The Musky is a bulk carrier built in 2014 and is sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands. It is sailing from 🇵🇪 Matarani, Peru ➡ 🇨🇦 Vancouver and was scheduled to arrive Dec. 30, 2023.
The pied piper at Beacon Hill Park. —Kathy Adetuyi, Colwood
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