December 25, 2018 3:56 pm

White Rock Polar Bear Swim cancelled due to storm damage

WATCH: Windstorm leaves White Rock's iconic pier in need of major repairs

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Last week’s powerful windstorm badly damaged White Rock’s iconic pier — but it’s also caused another unexpected casualty in the community.

The White Rock Rotary Club says it has been forced to cancel its annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim because of storm damage to the beach.

“Following the events of this week, we are sorry to announce that the Polar Bear Swim for this New Year’s Day is officially cancelled,” said the organization in a statement.

READ MORE: Man rescued from partially collapsed White Rock pier

“We hope to see you there again for the start of 2020 and the 50th Anniversary of this fun local celebration.”

The City of White Rock has been asking people to keep away from the area because of the large volume of hazardous debris that was blown ashore during the storm.

The pier itself is expected to take several months and millions of dollars to restore.

WATCH: People continue to ignore warnings to stay away from damaged White Rock pier

Eager dippers looking to take a polar plunge on New Year’s Day can still participate in Vancouver’s Polar Bear Swim.

READ MORE: White Rock teens fundraise to rebuild damaged pier

The annual event, which draws about 2,500 participants, takes place at English Bay on Jan. 1 at 2:30 p.m., and is accepting donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

Participants are encouraged to dress in costume and are asked to register.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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