Damage to a home on Pender Island during the December 2018 storm. (Christine Tam)

Island ‘thank you’ event to honour BC Hydro crews after storm

Salt Spring Island event to thank hundreds of Hydro workers, first responders and community members

As a final handful of customers on the southern Gulf Islands await the return of electricity following a windstorm more than 10 days ago, residents of one hard-hit island are making plans to say thank you.

Salt Spring Island residents Kathryn Anderson and Dan Olson decided to start 2019 with an event thanking the hundreds of BC Hydro employees, first responders and community members who worked tirelessly during the crisis.

READ MORE: Final BC Hydro customers affected by windstorm should have power Jan. 1

The storm left more than 700,000 customers in B.C. without power and Salt Spring endured some of the most severe damage, so Anderson says when the plan for an appreciation brunch on New Year’s Day was posted on social media “it just became a firestorm.”

In less than a week, she says businesses have donated food and space for the gathering while residents are organizing everything from a silent auction to a project aimed at weaving branches from fallen trees into a huge memorial wreath.

Most of the BC Hydro crews left Salt Spring as power was restored over the weekend, but Anderson says all who remain have been personally invited to the brunch while the ceremony will also be livestreamed so departed crews can tune in, if they wish.

Anderson says the storm’s legacy leaves an awareness that much must be done to prepare for future catastrophes, such as an earthquake, but it has also turned strangers into friends and helped unite the island’s roughly 11,000 residents.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Car fire
UPDATE: No injuries, cause of vehicle fire on Hardy Bay Road unknown at this time

Port Hardy Fire Rescue arrived on scene soon after and extinguished the fire.

The entrance to the Port Hardy aquatic centre. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Port Hardy to ‘revitalize’ old aquatic centre for 8.5 million

‘If everything goes as planned, there will be no tax increase to cover our portion of the costs’

North Island Votes. Campbell River Mirror graphic
Babchuk declared winner in North Island

Nearly three-quarters of votes counted and mail-in ballots still to come

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

The lottery corporation has said it consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Most Read