The December 2018 windstorm that blew through the area caused $37 million dollars worth of damage, mass power outages, and numerous road closures.

The VP of the Insurance Bureau of Canada for the Pacific Region, Aaron Sutherland stopped at the Ramada Hotel in Duncan for the Chamber of Commerce luncheon recently.

He said the severe weather events are becoming more and more common and preparedness is a key to protecting yourself and your family.

“The financial cost of a changing climate is rapidly growing and it’s incumbent on all of us to begin to build our resiliency to these types of events. We need to do much more to build protective infrastructure, to protect our communities, improve land-use planning,” said Sutherland. “Even at the individual level, when we know these storms are coming, we need to be taking the time to make sure our gutters and downspouts are cleared so that when the rains come, it’s not backing up and affecting our roofs and our properties.”

At its peak, the infamous December windstorm knocked out power to 350,000 BC Hydro customers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Sutherland said this wasn’t an isolated incident, these storms are becoming more and more common.

“As our climate is changing, our weather is warming, it’s holding more moisture in the air and we’re seeing more frequent and more intense storms,” said Sutherland. “Business-as-usual, I would say, is out the window and we’ve got to prepare for more of these types of events.

Another 400,000 customers were in the dark on the Lower Mainland.

Photo of wind damage on the Gulf Islands, courtesy BC Transportation.