Damage to a home on Pender Island during the December 2018 storm. (Christine Tam)

Island ‘thank you’ event to honour BC Hydro crews after storm

Salt Spring Island event to thank hundreds of Hydro workers, first responders and community members

As a final handful of customers on the southern Gulf Islands await the return of electricity following a windstorm more than 10 days ago, residents of one hard-hit island are making plans to say thank you.

Salt Spring Island residents Kathryn Anderson and Dan Olson decided to start 2019 with an event thanking the hundreds of BC Hydro employees, first responders and community members who worked tirelessly during the crisis.

READ MORE: Final BC Hydro customers affected by windstorm should have power Jan. 1

The storm left more than 700,000 customers in B.C. without power and Salt Spring endured some of the most severe damage, so Anderson says when the plan for an appreciation brunch on New Year’s Day was posted on social media “it just became a firestorm.”

In less than a week, she says businesses have donated food and space for the gathering while residents are organizing everything from a silent auction to a project aimed at weaving branches from fallen trees into a huge memorial wreath.

Most of the BC Hydro crews left Salt Spring as power was restored over the weekend, but Anderson says all who remain have been personally invited to the brunch while the ceremony will also be livestreamed so departed crews can tune in, if they wish.

Anderson says the storm’s legacy leaves an awareness that much must be done to prepare for future catastrophes, such as an earthquake, but it has also turned strangers into friends and helped unite the island’s roughly 11,000 residents.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey shares in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ movie success

Jim Carrey among actors in scenes filmed at Joe Brown Park in 2018

Cloverdale resident wants speeders bumped from his road

Lord Tweedsmuir teacher Walter van Halst says safety is number one concern

Surrey mom to plead guilty in U.S. college admissions scheme

According to charging documents, Xiaoning Sui paid $400,000 to a sham charity to have her son admitted at UCLA

Surrey councillor claims Fleetwood residents caught ‘off guard’ by corporate report

Council approved area plan boundary for Fleetwood that left many “scrambling” to understand, Pettigrew says

Elderly White Rock assault victim upgraded to stable condition

Incident occurred Feb. 19 in the city’s Five Corners district

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Chilliwack physiotherapist charged with sexual assault

Mounties urging other potential victims to make contact

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Abbotsford mosque gets online hate for exhibit on Jesus

Event meant to bring community together gets attacked teaching religous differences

Petition slams Victoria councillor who chastised police after Wetsuweten protest

Ben Isitt calls effort to get him suspended is not a ‘reliable barometer of public opinion’

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Most Read