Wow! What a difference a few days makes. That wind storm/hurricane that passed through on Friday has ripped the jewel of Stanley Park from Vancouver's crown.
Thousands of trees were blown down, ripped asunder, etc. I saw news reports in which people were in tears. The Parks Board does not have the money to carry out a clean-up, and there has been talk of logging companies being offered the wood for free if they come in and help with the clean-up.
It is ironic that I did a post a few weeks ago in which I suggested that Stanley Park be logged and developed to alleviate Vancouver's "land shortage", and not long after, in what seems a strange prescience, that is happening - right down to the logging crews, and talk on the radio (CBC today), of using the lumber to "help with the housing crisis"...
The area that boasts the train and concession stands was dense forest until 1962, when another fierce storm cleared that area. I had nothing to do with what has happened since. Honest! But perhaps my tongue-in-cheek idea is not so far-fetched now. It will be a good hundred years before Stanley Park resembles what it did until just last week.
The Parks Board is talking of community tree planting bees to "replace" what has been lost. The park is closed, and the public has been asked to stay away while the clean-up is carried out. I have heard mention of a year being necessary to do so.
It is known that many homeless people live in the park, and not all have been accounted for. It is possible that some lie beneath the wreckage, though that has not been confirmed.
Stanley Park is the heart of Vancouver - much as Central Park is to NYC (though Stanley Park was much more magnificent). Both parks have about 8 million visitors a year, with Stanley Park being slightly larger in area. Both are world-famous tourist attractions. Stanley Park will not attract so many now, I don't think.
What fierce wind will blow through the Vancouver real estate market and cause it to crash like so many trees did last Friday?
Images from various sources - Flickr, CBC, CTV. I have not had the chance to get down there and get my own photo's, and have not found too many on the 'net.
The latest word from the Parks Board, and the police, is that there are about 20 people known to be living in Stanley Park, and all have been accounted for.
Apparently, 9 of every 10 trees in the park were blown down (in the hardest hit parts. No word on what percentage of the park that is), or otherwise destroyed. It's a crying shame. The footage that I have seen reveals extraordinary damage. Entire sections of pavement along the seawall ripped up and blown away, landslides, etc.