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Storm-damaged White Rock pier could take $6M to repair
An online fundraiser has been set up to help rebuild the White Rock pier, which was damaged during last month's historic windstorm and could take as much as $ 6 million to repair.
The GoFundMe campaign was launched two weeks ago by the White Rock Youth Ambassadors, and has collected just $1,440 of the group's posted $1 million goal.
"The pier is known as the heart of our city by the sea," the teen volunteers said on their fundraising page. "And we are devastated to witness the collapse of (the pier) by the severe windstorm."
Though city officials have already pledged to repair the iconic pier, which split in two on Dec. 20 after being pummelled by violent waves and flailing boats, the White Rock Youth Ambassadors noted a full restoration might need a little extra help.
"Your donations will go towards some of the special features of the pier that were previously from private donations or are not covered by the government funding," they wrote.
According to the group, those features include lights, archways, benches and a memorial plaque.
Program coordinator Debbie Ward said the $1 million target was never a serious goal, and that they're happy with where the fundraiser is at so far. She said they would be very happy to contribute even $10,000 by the time the campaign is over.
The slow start might have something to do with the holiday season, she added.
"People are completely tapped out, understandably," Ward told CTV News.
Now that the holidays are over, she said the White Rock Youth Ambassadors are meeting with the local Rotary Club to make arrangements so people can make their donations there and receive a tax receipt.
On Thursday, the City of White Rock posted an update on the storm cleanup effort that indicated crews are still working to assess the extent of the damage to the pier.
Mayor Darryl Walker told CTV News it could take between $5 and $6 million to fix, at least part of which will be covered by insurance.
Fixing damaged chunks of the foreshore and promenade will come first, but a preliminary design for the pier is expected next week.
"Although it seemed bleak a week – 10 days – ago, it's starting to brighten up," he said.
"What's important to me is that we try to restore what we had. We want that pier to look like what it's looked like over the years."
The repairs are expected to take at least until late summer, the city said.
The pier, waterfront and White Rock promenade areas all remain closed to the public two weeks after the storm, which BC Hydro has described as the most damaging to its equipment in history.
Officials have estimated about 30 metres of the pier collapsed, and that it will likely take months to fix.
One man was caught on the far end of the pier when the middle section fell into the crashing waves, and had to be carried to safety by helicopter.