Mother Nature clobbered Surrey from the outset in 2017, plugging up residential streets with snow while some of the more glass-half-full among us took to ice skating on their streets.
Surrey’s manager of engineering operations, Rob Costanzo, called the cold snap an “anomaly” and “one for the record books.
“We haven’t had this type of winter since the ‘08, ‘09 winter,” he said.
(Early 2017 saw plenty of icy road fender-benders in Surrey. Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road salt became a precious commodity, road potholes became the stuff of newspaper headlines and local motorists found these street pits not only damaged their tires and rims but their pocketbooks as well.
High winds blasting through Surrey in April sent a monkey tree crashing down on a woman’s car in her driveway in the 15000-block of 86th Avenue.
The mother and daughter were lucky to be alive.
The 20-inch-thick tree landed in between the two.
“A foot forward, a foot back, we’d probably be talking about a fatality,” Surrey Fire Battalion Chief Gary McHarg said at the time. The young girl was in the back seat.
“The tree was against her face,” McHarg said.
The summer of 2017 was bone dry, lending to a record year for wildfires in B.C.
Surrey gave residents displaced by fires in the Interior a helping hand by setting up an Emergency Social Services Reception Centre for forest fire evacuees at Cloverdale Arena, where 108 cots were set up.
(Emergency cots set up at the Cloverdale Arena for wildfire evacuees. Photo: Tom Zytaruk).
One family from Williams Lake who came to Surrey for help had just moved to B.C. from Flin Flon, Manitoba, to a new home and new job.
“Following our dreams,” Christina Larocque told the Now-Leader. She described the fire. “I’ve got pictures of the flames,” she said. “They were shooting right up over the mountain, right across the lake from our house.”
(Volunteers helping wildfire evacuees at the Cloverdale Arena. Photo: Tom Zytaruk).