Visitors to Tofino-Ucluelet advised to be careful storm-watching this weekend

Visitors to Tofino-Ucluelet advised to be careful storm-watching this weekend

Beaches in the Tofino-Ucluelet are amazing at any time of year, in any weather, so with a big storm likely to hit the coast later this weekend the phone at the lodge has been ringing off the hook.

“We do have people calling to inquire about what day is going to be the best day to come and trying to book a last-minute getaway,” said Tofino Tourism’s Samantha Hackett, who is also the GM at Long Beach Lodge Resort.

Tourism Tofino is already recording its best October ever for overnight stays with a 70-80 per cent occupancy rate, with the normal rate falling between 60 per cent and 70 per cent.

Some resorts like the Wikaninnish Inn are completely full this weekend and storm watchers will likely fill many more resorts as well.

“You know some people will come just for one night just to catch a glimpse of the amazing and powerful storms here on the west coast and others will stay for multiple days,” added Hackett.

There is a word of caution for visitors to the area this weekend, however, suggesting people watch the storms from somewhere safe.

“It’s really important that during these larges storms that people monitor for large, unexpected waves, the rip currents and avoid rocky exposed shorelines, to really avoid being swept away,” stated Visitor Safety Specialist Liam McNeil at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

“Finding a vantage point that is safe and elevated and away from the beach is actually your best storm-watching location,” added Hackett.

There is also a warning from Search and Rescue groups for anyone thinking of a hike in the backcountry this weekend.

From flooding dangers to high winds, authorities say to check the forecast before you head out.

“They need to go prepared to be able to look after themselves for up to 12 hours so food, water, extra clothing, something to keep themselves dry and protected if they can’t make it back home,” said Comox Valley SAR’s Paul Berry.

Berry says if helicopters are grounded because of high winds, for example, searchers might not even be able to head out right away to look for you.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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