Last winter’s ice storm cost the Township of Langley $360,000, while Langley City did not suffer any unusual damage.
The cost estimates were provided as a result of Times queries following release of an Abbotsford budget update that showed the late-December storm helped increase 2018 expenses in that municipality by around $2 million.
The Langley Township estimate, contained in an engineering division memo to council, said the “ice and storm event that occurred on December 29, 2017 … resulted in significant tree damage on the eastern areas of the Township …”
It cost the Township $250,000 in cleanup costs with an additional $110,000 in tree replanting costs.
Affected areas included Gloucester, the Aldergrove core including Aldergrove Athletic Park, Phillip Jackman Park, 25 and 26B Avenues between 268 Street and 274A Street, and several parts of the Fraser Highway, including the section between 248 Street and 260 Street, which was closed for several days while BC Hydro crews worked to repair fallen power lines and damaged substations.
Over the weekend of Dec. 30 and 31, the memo said, there were more than 90 calls to the Township about tree debris.
Three Township brushing and chipper crews were dispatched along with four tree service contractors.
There was “extensive” tree loss in conservation and natural areas and about 70 parks and street trees had to be removed, the memo said.
Replacing the damaged trees is expected to take up to two years, with funding coming from a “combination of available operating funds and non-refundable deposits (NRD), which are collected from developers for such purposes,” the staff memo said.
In Langley City, which was out of range of the storm, staff reported no unusual winter-related expenses.
Mission and Abbotsford were the hardest hit communities, with some neighbourhoods in Mission being evacuated due to potential safety hazards.
Abbotsford airport expenses were also $178,000 higher than expected because of the storm.