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Quick cleanup in Victoria after powerful storm

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Property owners are assessing the aftermath of a powerful storm on Vancouver Island’s south coast that sent waves crashing over seawalls, closing some roads and walkways a day earlier.

“We tested the marina infrastructure to its max,” says Victoria International Marina CEO Craig Norris.

The moorage centre for luxury yachts in Victoria’s inner harbour sustained severe damage to its gangway.

“It’s pretty much hanging in the water, and that was what constant wave action for really ten hours looks like,” says Norris. “The good news is none of the boats had any damage to them. Our crews were walking the docks every half-hour to double check – and they were needed. There was lines snapping and breaking and fenders popping.”

Environment and Climate Change Canada says a low pressure system near Vancouver Island created a storm surge, and it was paired with high tides and strong winds.

“Juan de Fuca was cranking up to 115 km/h yesterday. It even affected Fairfield as it curled up towards Haro Strait, 104 km/h gusts [were] measured at the Fairfield station in Gonzalez,” says warning preparedness meteorologist, Armel Castellan.

The meteorologist says the tide is even higher on Wednesday, but fewer waves, less wind and reduced pressure has brought down the storm surge for a non-event.

Harbour Air flights were again taking off in Victoria Wednesday. And people walking through low-lying areas that had experienced flooding on Jan. 9, such as Victoria’s breakwater near Ogden Point and Oak Bay’s McNeill Bay, say they’re impressed by a seemingly quick cleanup.

“It’s 100 per cent,” says Rob Harvey outside the Surf Motel. “The city were right on it cleaning up the roadway like that.”

A spokesperson for the City of Victoria says crews were out early and had the stretch along Dallas Road between Oswego and South Turner streets re-opened at 5 a.m.

“Crews are assessing storm damage along the lower walkway at Holland Point Park,” says Colleen Mycroft. “The City asks residents to use caution in the area and obey any closure signs.”

The CEO of the Victoria International Marina says he would like to see another breakwater added to the inner harbour to address a climate where storms are getting worse. The marina is unsure how long it’ll take to fix the damage to its site.

“We did have Point Hope come down and build us a nice little staircase so we could all get on and off, including our customers, so that was a big deal to make sure they have the freedom to move,” says Norris.

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