Damaged White Rock pier 100 planks closer to being rebuilt
Pier was seriously damaged in a powerful storm last December
A community in White Rock says its fundraising efforts to restore the city's iconic pier are starting to pay off.
The group called Friends of the Pier says it has raised its first $100,000 through the sale of 100 planks of wood planned for the new structure.
Last December, a powerful storm struck B.C's South Coast. A section of the pier collapsed after being hammered by loose boats in the severe windstorm.
Emergency crews rescued two people, one of whom had to be rescued by helicopter from the shattered pier.
Bob Bezubiak, the chair of Friends of the Pier and manager of the TD bank in White Rock, said the storm's destruction cut a path through the heart of the community.
"To anybody living in White Rock, the pier is everything," Bezubiak said.
"People drive from all over the place just to visit the pier, and walk on the pier, and then hundreds and thousands of pictures taken of the pier. And so it's very, very important to White Rock."
Bezubiak said the group's immediate goal is to make the pier walkable in time for a gala fundraiser at the new Oceana Parc in September.
"The hole in the pier that was damaged is being replaced right now. The city does have the money for that. I think the insurance is going to cover most of the cost. The next phase will be the rebuild of the total pier so that's probably going to take about a year or so."
The year-long rebuild is estimated to cost about $2-million, according to Bezukiak.
The pier rebuild will require 1,300 wooden planks and will be slightly more than 457 metres in length. If Friends of the Pier sell all 1,300 planks, the group will be on the way to reaching the donation goal.
"The pier is going to get shut down again at some point and a total rebuild is going to happen so that's what we are raising the funds for. This is a long-term effort that's going to take place," said Bebuziak.
Tickets for the fundraiser gala go on sale the first week of July. More details are available online at www.friendsofthepier.com.