White Rock Farmers’ Market vendor Karen Brandson posted this post-wind photo to Facebook Sunday night, showing some of the mess created by the windstorm. Brandson’s caption noted she “felt like crying but tried to laugh instead.” (Facebook photo)
Bad Video Embed Code

White Rock Farmers’ Market vendor Karen Brandson posted this post-wind photo to Facebook Sunday night, showing some of the mess created by the windstorm. Brandson’s caption noted she “felt like crying but tried to laugh instead.” (Facebook photo)

VIDEO: Windstorm packs wallop on White Rock market

Last market of the season closes early for safety reasons

Sunday’s windstorm wreaked havoc on the White Rock Farmers’ Market – prompting an early closure on its last day of the season – but organizers say the experience hasn’t swayed their enthusiasm for the uptown location.

It also reminded them of the kindness of strangers, as market visitors were quick to lend a hand to prevent injuries and further damage.

“Considering what came through that site yesterday, I think we were lucky (there were no injuries),” market manager Helen Fathers said Monday.

“We are so thankful to those people who were onsite. Everybody pitched in.”

Environment Canada had warned residents Saturday that winds could hit up to 80 km/h in parts of the Lower Mainland the following day, due to a strong ridge of high pressure pushing southward overnight, bringing outflow winds from the northeast.

According to BC Hydro’s website, more than 6,000 customers in Surrey and Langley were without power Sunday as a result of trees down across power lines.

Fathers, a White Rock council member, said the gusts hit the market – which operates during the summer season in the Miramar Village plaza – between noon and 1 p.m.

“It was interesting because it was a beautiful day… then all of a sudden, the volume went from zero to 100,” she said.

“It was like an explosion.”

A video posted to Facebook shows people scrambling to take down tents and secure other items.

White Rock resident Tony Roy said he took the 93-second clip at about 12:30 p.m., shortly after arriving at the market, as the wind started to pick up.

“People were sort of laughing (the wind) off, until the tables began flying,” Roy told Peace Arch News.

“It was a vicious wind.”

One vendor described the experience as “absolutely terrifying.”

“A little bit later a gust came through and picked up our three tables, all loaded with heavy things, tipped them over and sent the smallest one airborne,” Karen Brandson wrote on Facebook, in response to Roy’s video.

“Took us nearly two hours to sort out our mess and get stuff organized and packed up.”

Roy said he stopped recording the chaos when a table fell over nearby; he put his phone away to lend a hand, he said.

Fathers estimated the high winds continued for about 40 minutes. Damage included two snapped tents, and smashed jars of jam and juice.

She noted market policy does require vendors to weight any tents down, and many use bags of sand to do so. But they had little effect Sunday, she said.

While the wind did die down, a decision was made to close the market early. It normally runs until 2 p.m.

“It was just too hazardous,” Fathers said.

And though the wind delivered a wallop to the market, the day’s balmy 22-degree temperature put White Rock tops in B.C. for weather, breaking the city’s own 86-year-old record.

Of 10 weather records broken in the province yesterday, White Rock’s was the oldest – the last, 18.9 degrees – was set in 1929 by just over three degrees.

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

Just Posted

Volunteers from Semiahmoo Secondary joined with members of the Lower Mainland Green Team and the White Rock and South Surrey Naturalists Wednesday to remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park in March. (Contributed photo)
Green Team, South Surrey students mark Earth Day with invasive plant removal

Volunteers to be on site at White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park

rcmp
South Surrey neighbours’ calls to police lead to break-and-enter arrest

‘Prime example’ of RCMP and public working together, constable says

Members of the Wheeling 8’s dance group go on a roll at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in 2018, during the club’s 45th-anniversary event. If not for the pandemic, such activities could be socially prescribed as part of a new program involving Fraser Health and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Social prescriptions’ connect Surrey seniors to activities and other services they need

Fraser Health-backed program involves GP referrals to a Seniors’ Community Connector with DiverseCity

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Thousands have converged in Whonnock Lake Park to enjoy the nice weather. (Roxanne Hooper/The News)
Thousands enjoy B.C. park with warnings about social distancing

Portable toilets installed in anticipation of nice weather

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Most Read