The White Rock pier was closed to the public as it got battered by boats on Thursday. (Photo: Kieran O’Connor)

Windstorm wallops Surrey, White Rock

Surrey staff will ‘work into the night’ to deal with downed trees

The windy weather has left thousands without power in Surrey and the surrounding area as of Thursday evening (Dec. 20), according to BC Hydro.

As of 4 p.m., BC Hydro’s outage map shows more than 50,000 people without power with causes listed as “wind storm” and “trees down across wires.”

For an updated list of power outages, click here.

The City of Surrey’s Twitter account is reminding people that strong winds are in the forecast for Surrey, adding that people can report outages or fallen trees to BC Hydro at its emergency line 1-888-769-3766.

Ray Kerr, manager of operations with the City of Surrey, said Thursday (Dec. 20) “has been a very busy day for staff.”

Kerr said that while he doesn’t have the actual number of trees that have fallen in the city, he said staff has been working “diligently all day dealing with the road closures due to these fallen trees.”

“We will continue to work into the night until such time as the fallen trees causing the road closures have been dealt with,” Kerr said.

Just before noon, a tree fell on a worker near Pacific Academy school in Fraser Heights. The man, according to Surrey RCMP, was taken to hospital with injuries.

RELATED: Tree falls on Surrey worker

Earlier on Thursday morning, Surrey Schools spokesperson Doug Strachan said “at least” 12 schools were without power.

RELATED: At least 12 Surrey schools without power as wind blows

Surrey Schools superintendent Jordan Tinney tweeted at 2 p.m. that the district was “dealing with numerous power outages,” and staff is “working with all schools” to keep kids “secure and safe.” By 5:30 p.m., Tinney tweeted that 26 schools were currently without power, but the district anticipates “being fully operational in the morning.

Tinney also said to expect debris on school sites Friday (Dec. 21).

The Surrey Traffic Twitter account is also reminding people to use four-way stop procedures at intersections where the power is out. Surrey Traffic also tweeted that “over half of the traffic signals” in the city have back-up power systems, adding that as the winds gust during the storm and cause power outages, “most of our traffic signals will continue to operate seamlessly keeping travellers safe.”

Waves and loose boats have also broken the White Rock pier.

A man was stranded on the pier for nearly two hours, but was rescued around 4 p.m. by helicopter.

RELATED: White Rock pier damaged by storm

Police are on scene and had closed down the pier shortly before 2 p.m. White Rock RCMP say they and the White Rock Firefighters are dealing with the “emergent situation” at the pier and Marine Drive “will be shut down until further notice.”

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