WATCH: Waves the size of houses are crashing into Tofino as the biggest swells in decades hit western Vancouver Island. Skye Ryan reports.
With the force of a freight train, extreme waves are crashing ashore along Tofino’s beaches.
A powerful storm is churning up waves 40 feet, or more than 12 metres, high and devouring beaches faster than people can outrun them.
“This is awesome!” says Irv Thoen, who has been storm watching in the Tofino area for 30 years and he says he’s never seen anything like it. “It looks like a tsunami is coming in.”
The huge swells were drawing in storm watchers and locals alike, to marvel at the unusual sight.
“It’s huge, it’s like breaking way out,” says Tofino resident Sanoa Olin.
“We all love the connection that you have with the ocean it makes you feel really small and makes you humble,” adds Tofino resident Tanya Richards.
“You can feel it standing on the grass eight feet above the water line and some of these rocks being tossed around like toothpicks ? I would estimate are 2,000 pounds,” says Pacific Sands Resort general manager Shane Richards.
The sheer force of the water ? and the logs and other debris it’s tossing around ? also makes the waves very dangerous. That danger prompted Parks Canada to close beaches for safety reasons.
“Mostly it’s the danger of the water,” says Randy Mercer of Parks Canada. “So either knocking you down into it, dragging you back out or here you can see with all these logs it doesn’t take much water to float them, so maybe knock you down roll over you.”
Beaches will remain closed through Friday when swells are forecast to start dropping.
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