White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker has reiterated “in the strongest possible terms” that the White Rock Pier, and promenade east of the pier, pose a danger risk to those who ignore city barricades.
The comments came after hundreds of people crossed city barriers on Sunday afternoon — ignoring warning signs — to examine wreckage on White Rock beach caused by a Dec. 20 windstorm.
Walker said the amount of material strewn on the promenade has made it a tripping hazard, and wind-driven waves have left light standards along the walkway “quite unstable.”
“At any given time they could – like a tree in a forest – fall and hurt people. They’re not safe to be around. We’ve got to clean it up and take a look at the standards and figure out what our next steps are,” Walker said.
Electricity to the light standards is fed underground. Those wires have been unearthed and cause additional danger, Walker said.
“Live wires or not, we would ask people to consider any wire they see as a live wire.”
Walker said he was disappointed to see the number of people who didn’t obey the city’s barriers Sunday, and noted that he saw photographs of families with young children who had crossed the barrier.
“The idea of respecting barriers is something I suspect people should be instilling in their children, not suggesting that there are ways around it and why don’t we go in that general direction,” he said.
Walker said that if people continue to ignore barricades and posted danger signs, the city will take further steps.
“The bottom line is that if people don’t respect it, we’re going to have to find other ways of making sure that you don’t go around, over, or through the barriers whether it’s on the promenade or the pier itself,” Walker said.
Walker said cleanup has begun, and is expecting engineers “in the very near future” to assess the damage done to the pier. Once the promenade is safe, he added, the city will remove the barriers.
Walker said he wants to recognize the “wonderful work” city employees did during and after the Dec. 20 storm, and added that many of them worked into the night Dec. 20 to secure city streets and the waterfront.
“From the council and myself, we want to thank our city workers for everything they did over this very difficult period,” Walker said.