This image shows just some of the damage sustained by Little Qualicum Falls and MacMillan provincial parks by the December windstorm. Crews continue to assess damage, leaving Little Qualicum Falls fully closed, as well as a portion of MacMillan park. — Submitted by David Karn

Significant windstorm damage leaves Qualicum-area provincial parks closed

Crews at Little Qualicum Falls, portions of MacMillan park to clean up, assess damage

More than a month after a violent windstorm left thousands without power and damaged property, the province is still getting a handle on how bad the damage is to MacMillan and Little Qualicum Falls provincial parks.

Both parks were closed in December after the storm, though the southern portion of MacMillan Park (the big tree side) is now open for public use.

“The downed trees have affected access, park capital facilities and water infrastructure,” said David Karn, a communications person with Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

“We remain in the assessment phase and are unable to report out what specific repairs will be required in each of the parks.”

Images shared by Karn show picnic areas covered in pine-tree debris, washrooms with fallen trees lying across their rooves, as well as obstructing trails.

RLC Park Services, which appears to be assisting with clean-up and repairs at Little Qualicum Falls posted photos to Facebook showing the damage, and asked the public to heed warning signs and not enter the park.

“The damage to Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park from the December storm is immense,” reads the post. “We all want to get back into this well loved park but the work is forced to slow and stop if people ignore signs and enter the park.”

Karn said there was not yet any planned re-opening date for the parks as assessments of the damage continue.

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