(VIFD photo illustration)

(VIFD photo illustration)

Top 10: Vancouver Island weather, COVID-19, wayward shark among VIFD’s most-read stories of 2020

Tragic Snowbirds crash, discovery of emaciated grizzly also make headlines

An interesting and challenging 2020 has drawn to a close. Our staff members at the Vancouver Island Free Daily wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2021 and thank you our readers for your clicks, comments and patronage during the past year.

Today, we’ll take a look back at 10 of our most-read stories from 2020 based on our website analytics.

1. Cowichan declares state of emergency, evacuates homes in wake of widespread flooding (Feb. 1)

The Cowichan Valley Regional District declared a state of local emergency after widespread flooding forced evacuations and cuts off key transportation corridors in the area.

2. Pineapple express about to hit Vancouver Island; temperatures could reach 14 C (Jan. 30)

Matt MacDonald, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said areas on the west coast of the Island could expect as much as 200 millimetres of rain from the system.

3. Campers can get one site for the price of two in BC Parks this summer (June 12)

BC Parks was getting flak from disgruntled campers being forced to pay full price for double campsites despite occupancy being reduced to half their original capacity. When provincial campsites reopened June 1, double site limits were reduced from two camping parties, each of up to four adults and four children, to one due to revised regulations to accommodate physical distancing.

4. 15 recent COVID-19 cases in B.C. linked to 30-person family gathering (June 1o)

Another of many stories in a COVID-dominated 2020. As B.C. continues to see a decrease in new daily COVID-19 cases, a recent cluster connected to a family gathering is serving as a reminder to how quickly the novel coronavirus can spread.

5. B.C. teacher returns from Spain, makes impassioned plea to Canadians (March 18)

“No, I do not think the world is ending. No, I am not being alarmist. No, I am not asking for attention. I’m asking that everyone check their privilege (including myself) and work together to flatten the curve.”

6. Vancouver Island surfer watches 12-foot shark circle under his board

A story from 2019 that continued to draw widespread attention through 2020. Surfer Andrew Paulich was in the water at Wickaninnish Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve when he saw a large, approximately four-metre, shark.

7. Vancouver Island’s big old trees almost gone forever, scientists warn (June 8)

Fewer mammoth old growth trees remain than you imagine, according to authors of provincial study.

8. Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock (July 10)

“It was quite visible that it was him. He was just untying the boats and watching them float away.”

The youth was not a Ucluelet resident.

9. Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern (Sept. 18)

An emaciated grizzly was found dead yesterday on the B.C. Central Coast, sparking concern over the rest of the bear population and its food supply.

10. One dead in Canadian Forces Snowbirds plane crash in Kamloops (May 17)

The CAF identified the victim as Capt. Jennifer Casey of Halifax, Nova Scotia. According to her biography on the Royal Canadian Air Force website, she joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2014 after working as a journalist in Halifax and Belleville.

VI Free Daily editor Philip Wolf can be reached via email at philip.wolf@blackpress.ca. To have the latest headlines from Vancouver Island, B.C. and around the world delivered to your email each morning, click here.

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