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Super storm prediction a delight for Tofino storm watchers

Original Article by Megan Thomas for CBC News

Vacation destinations of Tofino and Ucluelet draw tourists who want to experience storms

Communities along the B.C. South Coast are warning people to be ready as a series of storms slams into the region. But on Vancouver Island's rugged west coast, the preparations look a bit different.

The vacation destinations of Tofino and Ucluelet have increasingly attracted tourists who want to experience the powerful storms that roll in from the Pacific Ocean.

Predictions of a particularly severe storm on Saturday when the tail end of Super Typhoon Songda bears down on the South Coast prompted the Wickaninnish Inn, which also happens to be celebrating its 20th anniversary, to put up a tent to safely accommodate extra storm watchers.

"It should be interesting. But with a little bit of West Coast engineering, we are pretty sure we have it anchored in place." said Charles McDiarmid, the inn's managing director.
Winds in Tofino on Saturday could top 100 km/h, and waves crashing along the shoreline could climb to up to nine metres in height, said McDiarmid. "It is an impressive early season storm." The winter storm-watching season on the west coast of Vancouver Island typically doesn't start until November, he added.

The inn was specifically designed to withstand powerful storms and includes a generator to ensure essential services can be provided to guests, even if the electricity is knocked out, he said.

"We have been living the dream for 20 years so we are very used to this kind of weather."

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