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Posts tagged ‘wind’

Life In Sooke #1 – Storms (And Storm Watching!)

Welcome to a new series on the 642Blog, Life in Sooke. The idea for the series came to me as I was out for a run the other day – I thought it would be fun to carry my video camera a little more often and shoot video of Sooke and the surrounding area to give visitors and potential new residents an idea of what it’s like to live here.

This month has been one of the wettest, stormiest Novembers I can remember. It seems there has been non-stop stormy weather, with one system after another pounding the coast with strong winds and heavy rain. Today it looked like we were having a break in the weather, so Marg and I decided to take the dog and head up West Coast Road (Hwy 14) for a little adventuring. We’d hoped to do some beachcombing and I had hoped to capture some nice images on my camera.

We had planned to stop in at Point-no-Point Resort for lunch – something we’d been meaning to do for a long time – Jason from DiscoverSooke.com and Inktvis Creative has been raving about it. Along the way it became apparent that this morning’s calm was only the eye of the storm, as we could feel the wind buffeting the car as we cruised along the road. By the time we got to Point-no-Point, the rain had resumed and was flying sideways.

We had an amazing lunch in the restaurant – overlooking the beach below, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and – if we could see them – the Olympic Mountains. The food was great, service friendly, and prices very reasonable. Because the weather had turned even worse, we just decided to hike for a half hour or so along the trails that run about the resort property (available to cottage and restaurant guests). Below is a video I shot of the waves and wind pounding the shores as we watched in amazement. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a stormy winter day, Point-no-Point is a great destination for lunch and a hike. If you’re looking for an overnight romantic getaway, the resort or one of the many other oceanside B&B’s and inns would love to have you!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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The Wind Arrives In Sooke

Last night, as I was lying in bed, the wind came up and buffeted the coast all night. It’s a sure sign that fall is upon us and winter is on the way. Having always lived in coastal areas, I thought I knew what wind storms were all about.

I was wrong.

Photo Credit: Zero-X on Flickr

Photo Credit: Zero-X on Flickr

Since moving to Sooke 3 and a half years ago from the mainland, I’ve come to realize how much the mainland is protected from the Pacific storms that rock the Island, and particularly, its west coast.

That’s not to say that Vancouver and area don’t get their share of wind off the Strait of Georgia; look what happened in late 2006 and early 2007 in Stanley Park – they’re still cleaning it up.

But I remember that night in December 2006 in Sooke. I was lying in bed, unable to sleep, especially after the power went out and the only sound I could hear was the wild wind (which topped 140 km/h in some areas of Sooke) blowing down trees and ripping shingles off my roof. I was lucky, I lost a few shingles. Others weren’t so fortunate; at least 3 families lost their homes after huge fir trees blew on top of them. The Glenidle By The Sea condo complex lost part of its roof. I awoke to what looked like a disaster zone. Trees down everywhere. Power, phone, cable, you name it – if it came to Sooke via wire, it was down.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a windy winter in Sooke or other coastal areas:

– Get a generator. You will probably lose your power at some point this winter. Usually it’s not long, but some areas of Sooke were without power (and for many on wells with an electric pump, water) for over a week in that storm. I have several clients that have an integrated natural gas-fired generator that will power the whole house. Expensive? yes, but a simple gas generator that will enable you to see at night won’t break the bank.

– Along the same lines: Have a non-electric source of cooking. One thing that sticks in my mind about the morning after that storm is the lack of caffeinated glory that comes from my morning coffee. Without power I was unable to feed the addiction. I could have boiled water on the barbeque, I guess, but what good would that be when my coffee is in bean form and my grinder is electric? I’m not proud to admit it, but I was considering grinding beans by hand hammer and/or eating them. Nowhere in Sooke was open for coffee and the road was blocked by many trees. I now keep a small container of ground coffee in the freezer for emergencies.

– Most homes in Sooke have some sort of fireplace – be it gas or wood-burning, but it will come in handy in the storms. I spent much of the day huddled close to the gas fireplace (it works better with electricity to power the blower) with my freezing dog. Stock up on wood or fill the propane tank if you’re not on natural gas.

– Have basic repair supplies and equipment on hand. I mentioned I lost some shingles. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any replacements and our otherwise extremely well-stocked Home Hardware didn’t carry the type of shingles I needed. Tarps, rope, plywood, plastic sheeting would all be handy for emergency repairs. A chainsaw would been useful too.

– Pitch in and help your neighbours. This is key; We’re all in this together. The strength of a community truly comes out in times of trouble. Got a chainsaw? Go clear the roads and driveways (bonus: free firewood!). Spare room or two? Help somebody whose home has been damaged. Or give a cup of coffee to a caffeine-starved REALTOR/blogger. You get the idea – can’t watch TV or blog, so you might as well get out there and pitch in.

What about you? What are your tips for fellow readers to survive the winter windstorms?

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke House Insurance Higher Because Of Wind and Snow!?

This via Twitter and the Kids In Victoria Forums.

Everyone needs house insurance whether you own or rent. Typically, when you move, you notify your current insurer of the move and they will ask you questions about the house – age, size, heat source, etc. Your real estate professional can also send over a spec sheet to the insurance agent. The insurance broker will give you a quote and all goes well. Usually.

All locked up - Good insurance!

All locked up - Good insurance!

A new Sooke Resident posted a case that her current insurer (whom she’s been with for many years) tried to tell her that when she moves to Sooke from Colwood later this month that the cost of her insurance policy will nearly double. When asked why, she was told “Sooke gets more wind and snow than Victoria.”

Sooke-ites, wipe off the coffee you just sprayed all over your screen and regain composure. Of course we know it’s not true. This winter, I think Langford and Colwood got way more snow than us, and even in the winter of ’06-’07 with all the wind storms, I don’t recall Sooke having a worse time than any other coastal community.

I and many other KIV-ers suggested that she phone around or visit some local Sooke insurance brokers and get a better quote. If anything, I’d suppose that insurance in Sooke would be less due to lower house prices and little crime.

What do you think? Anyone experience anything similar? Post in the comments below.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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