By Lauren Kelly, Editor-in-Chief
Going into this past weekend, everything and everyone was abuzz with warnings of the upcoming storm. It was a multi-day, multi-wave system set to attack the Lower Mainland with aggressive winds and pounding rain. People prepared their flashlights, water, and canned goods. We were expecting something possibly worse than last year’s storm, which knocked out power in some areas for multiple days.
Well, it’s come and gone now. Overall, it wasn’t as bad as we had expected. Many have taken to social media to mock its severity, as it was mostly underwhelming. On Saturday night, the expected peak of the storm, I left a birthday party at midnight to a light drizzle. It’s easy to look at this and shrug off the whole event. However, we do have to remember a few things.
We are incredibly lucky to live where we do. We don’t often have to worry about big storms the way many places on the east coast do. This is especially apparent in the shadow of Hurricane Matthew, which caused billions in damages and resulted in 1,384 deaths. While we clean up after our storm, a remnant of Typhoon Songda, we should be thankful that we don’t have to suffer through catastrophes such as those. Our cost of living is super high, but that comes bundled with the fact that where we live is pretty safe (ignoring the always-looming mega-quake).
Most importantly, a teenager lost his life to this storm. Sixteen-year-old Shakir Salaam died in hospital after a tree fell on him Friday on his way home from school in Surrey. His friends, family, school, and rugby teammates are all in mourning now. When people are sitting around talking about how underwhelming the storm was, they should remember Shakir.
We shouldn’t let the severity of this storm lull us, though. We need to take every storm warning that comes out seriously, to make sure that we’re prepared in case it is severe, or the power goes out for days like has happened many times. And we need to be stocked and ready for when the earthquake does come, whether it’s tomorrow or 30 years from now. Until then, be grateful that we live where we do, and we don’t have to be scared of hurricanes like our eastern neighbours.