Massive waves are expected to hit the West Coast this week. (Photo - CoastSmart)

Incoming storm prompts extreme wave advisory at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Flooded beaches, floating logs and hazardous surf conditions expected.

Environment Canada is predicting massive waves to pelt the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s beaches this week, prompting an extreme wave advisory to be announced for Thursday and Friday.

“During this time period, waves up to 7 meters are predicted. Compounding these hazards, very high tides are occurring mid-day. These conditions could result in flooded beaches, floating logs, large waves breaking high up on shore and extremely hazardous surf conditions. The most dangerous period of the day is likely to be at high tide from mid-morning to mid- afternoon,” the Parks Canada advisroy states. “Depending of the severity of the flooding seas, select beach parking lots and beach areas in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve may be temporarily closed to protect visitor safety.”

Visitors are urged to respect any potential closures and keep a look out for caution signage that may be posted in high risk areas.

“Everything is combining to create relatively dangerous conditions,” the Park Reserve’s Resource Conservation Manager Renee Wissink told the Westerly News.

“We expect the beaches will flood right up to the logs and that the logs could be mobile, which creates a real significant potential hazard to visitors…The logs are, in many cases, very heavy and you don’t want to be steamrolled by rolling logs.”

He said visitors must understand that wave conditions can change rapidly and that walking along the beach during a storm could prove catastrophic.

“People can be walking along the beach and walking amongst the logs and the last four or five swell sets are not reaching the logs and then, all of a sudden, there’s a big set that comes right up the beach, mobilizes the logs and now theyre caught,” he said. “One of the things we’re trying to get people to understand is, don’t be lulled into this sense of security because three or four sets didn’t make it up the beach; the next one might.”

He said no beach closures have been announced, but his team will continue monitoring the situation.

“If we have any worry whatsoever, mostly about the threat of mobilizing beach logs, then we will close the beaches or at least sign them to indicate to people that they shouldn’t be out there,” he said.

He encourages anyone wanting to watch the waves crashing in to head to either the Kwisitis Vistor Centre’s indoor ocean-viewing room at Wickaninnish Beach, or the outside look-out above Florencia Bay, “where you can, very safely, watch the big swells rolling in onto the beach below you.”

He said storms are “par for the course” at the National Park Reserve during the winter and stormwatching is growing in popularity, but anyone planning to visit should check out CoastSmart first for tips on how to stay safe around the ocean.

“More and more people are coming in the winter specifically to watch storms, so we’re really trying to target those groups,” he said. “It’s great that they’re coming here, but we want to ensure that they’re safe and they have all those CoastSmart messages and know what to do and where to go to be safe.”

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

Just Posted

Extravagant marriage proposal in Ucluelet

“It was such a dream. He brought a dream to life. No one does this anymore.”

Missing mushroom picker found “alive and well” after three-day search in Ucluelet

“It’s always great to have a positive outcome like this.”

Ucluelet mayor criticizes province’s lack of communication as highway closures resume

Daily closures return to only highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

HISTORY COLUMN: Reflecting on the 32nd anniversary of Canada’s apology to Japanese-Canadians

Japanese-Canadians an integral part of Tofino and Ucluelet’s history.

Tofino-Ucluelet region rallies around injured five-month-old puppy

A Hitacu puppy is home and healing after being struck by a vehicle in Hitacu

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Three years for serial bank robber who hit southern Vancouver Island branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Abbotsford, Sidney and Vancouver

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Most Read