Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park was one of seven parks closed due to damage caused by the large windstorm on Dec. 20, 2018, and it is still not open seven weeks later.

“At Little Qualicum Falls Park, the damage was far more extensive and therefore it’s going to take a significantly longer period of time to reopen,” said Area Parks Head for BC Parks Andy MacDonald.

Most of the other damaged parks reopened within the two weeks after the storm, but at Little Qualicum, outhouses were hit by falling trees, benches were broken, picnic tables were smashed and roads through the park are still impassable because of fallen trees and debris.

“Cleanup will be extensive. We’ll have to be removing trees from the core areas where the facilities are and the public recreates and we’ll have to transport those trees up to an area near the park entrance where they can be decked,” added MacDonald.

Officials say between 250 and 300 trees came down in the park during the storm.

It will cost about $200,000 to repair the damage and clear the trees.

The campground was originally scheduled to open on April 12, however the lower part of the campground likely will not be available at that time.

Officials are hopeful that the upper campground will be open in order to accommodate camping parties at that time.

Until then, they’re asking people to respect the “Park Closed” signs and stay out of the park.

“There are several hazards that exist, everything from hazard trees to safety fencing along the river’s edge along the trails that have been seriously damaged of course exposing people to the bluffs in the canyon area of the park’s river,” said MacDonald.

Dean Stoltz