Metro Vancouver tree damage worst since 2006 storm
A week of heavy rain, snow, and wind have wreaked havoc across the Lower Mainland and at least 200 trees have fallen in Pacific Spirit Park, which separates Vancouver's western edge from the UBC campus and endowment lands.
Richard Wallis, a supervisor with Metro Vancouver's regional parks, said the extreme damage to trees, park bridges and boardwalks is reminiscent of a very big storm that came six years ago.
"In 2006, we had about one thousand trees across trails in this park; about 10,000 trees across our parks system [fall] across trails. So this is the biggest storm damage we've seen since 2006," he said
The 2006 wind storm devastated portions of Vancouver's crown jewel, Stanley Park, stripping bare swaths of trees.
This past week's nasty weather also led to high tides, big waves and flooding in some areas.
But in Pacific Spirit Park, trail enthusiasts aren't being deterred by the mess.
"We're okay. We had to climb over a few trees but it was okay," one walker said Friday.
"No, it's manageable. The crews that I've seen working here are doing a good job, massive stumps have already been removed, that have been across. You can definitely negotiate your way through," another walker said.
Glen Berg, a resident of Vancouver Island, got his first view of the park damage Friday while out for a walking with his dog. He and his neighbours already endured a storm in Deep Bay on Vancouver Island.
"They have, like, three, four feet of seaweed on their front lawn, and some of their big concrete blocks, a couple of them, got washed out. As soon they get washed out, it starts scouring behind it. So it's rather kind of violent. The dog doesn't like the waves. She runs away."
Despite the damage on Pacific Spirit Park trails, Wallis said visitors are still welcome — as long as they come prepared.
"We ask that they use extra caution and bring good footwear. There is packed snow and ice on the trails. There certainly are branches and trees all over the place. But the parks are open and people should come out and enjoy them."
Metro Vancouver is still calculating the cost for the storm cleanup, and says it could take up to a month to complete the job.
With files from the CBC's Dan Burritt