Stanley Park storm damage – day 12

IMG_9670 Being that the park is one of my favorite places to tread through, I thought I would give a periodical report on the things that I am noticing as the clean up grinds along from the storm that damaged thousands of trees in Stanley Park on December 15, 2006.

One thing that bothers me to no end is the fact that I cannot run on the trails through the park right now. The furthest I have been able to get into the park, aside from our picture taking expedition[flickr], is the trail that goes around Lost Lagoon. That’s not to say that there isn’t a fair amount of damage to that area alone.

Talking to some friends who live on the north shore last night, the damage is not just inside Stanley Park. I’m not sure many people understand how badly the area was hit because they seemed to be surprised at what we were telling them. Our pal Preston did hit the nail on the head when we were trying to describe it to him. Indeed, it does look like the Iron Giant[imdb] took a nice stroll through the park.

The other day, I came across the point where the Tatlow comes out at Lost Lagoon. Of course, there are barricades preventing you from taking the trail into the heart of the park. I have to question why. Directly on the other side of the orange and white gate, there is a mess of trees lying crisscrossed over the trail. You couldn’t get too far if you tried.

The whole route around the lagoon took a hit as well. There are numerous points where a fallen tree has been sliced through the middle at the width of the pathway it blocked off. Sawdust is all over the ground in some areas, but the trail is easily accessible without having to crawl over or duck under anything. The forest of the entire park is noticeably not as dense as it was when you peer into the now forbidden zone. There are a bunch of branches and trunks resting at various angles as well.

I’ll do my best to relay other things that I notice as things progress. It’s taking some time for the clean up to really take shape, but the park is massive in scale. Access by vehicle is one thing, but without the trails being open, what’s the point? I think that’s going to take the most time to recover from.

Braving the winter takes on new meaning

IMG_9689 We’ve been busy with getting everything set for the holidays. That pretty much means shopping. I’ve been taking care of a few various projects in between, but we ventured out to Stanley Park today with Rebecca’s dad. I went running yesterday, and the park was in pretty bad shape.

Last Thursday night, I woke up around 3AM to the sounds of wind. Massive amounts of wind. You could hear various pieces of debris rolling around outside, so I got up to peak out the windows. They are saying that we experienced hurricane force winds in the category two range, but it didn’t take me very long to make sure that everything was okay in the apartment and gather flashlights in the event that we lost power. Rebecca, on the other hand, slept all the way through it.

Luckily, we didn’t lose power in our end of the city. Other folks were not so fortunate, and I got a message from DaveO that tells me that North Vancouver experienced some outages. Word from Surrey said that some folks took a hit as well. Trees are damaged all over downtown through.

About running the park yesterday, it was a mess. I had to tiptoe around a lot of fallen foliage, some much larger in various spots. Heading back in today, I was sure to bring the camera along(see them on Flickr here). It looked like a war zone in some spots.

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) – It looks like a crime scene.

And the trees are the victims.

Crews are asking the public to stay out of a battered Stanley Park.

Yellow caution ribbon is strung across pathways littered with branches and tree-trunks.
A trades foreman with the park board, Gary Gilder, says the wind damaged trees are a real danger.

“……and a lot of trees in the bus hung up…..against other trees….that have not quite fallen over so it’s…I would say stay out of the park until the end of the weekend”

The park itself will be closed for the weekend. That includes the seawall, the Vancouver Aquarium and bright nights Christmas attraction.[cknw]

IMG_9690 Yeah, I guess you could say that the park was closed, but we got ourselves inside and checked out the damage. However, I wouldn’t recommend it at all. Trails are cut off all over the place, not to mention that the seawall was blocked off at the point where you can take Beaver Creek trail up to Beaver Lake. And what trails you can find access to are bound to be blocked off at some point. You get past one tree to only find another.

When I went running through yesterday, there was no automobile traffic whatsoever. Getting around Brockton Point, I couldn’t even run on the bike path. They’re doing some reno to the lighthouse area, so all Seawall traffic is forced onto the upper route around the backside. Just beyond that, you could see that they worked a path through the fallen trees and branches for authorized vehicles to get into the area, but it was a tight squeeze. I actually passed a variety of people walking on the road in the opposite direction who, like me, didn’t know that the park was officially closed.

It’s really sad to see. I fear that it’s going to be a long time before anyone can safely or completely venture through the entire park. It’s a great place to go running or wandering through. I hope to see things restored as soon as possible. For only living here as short as I have, I’ve really come to love that park. It won’t be the same, but I’ll be anxious to see it back again.