This was part of Lori Wickham’s view for an hour from inside the Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn. (Photo by Lori Wickham)

Woman stuck in elevator at Chemainus hotel for an hour during power outage

Wickham endures initial panic and settles in until help arrives

Lori Wickham of Ladysmith, who grew up in Chemainus, was at the Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn for a memorial gathering for her mom with family members when she got stuck on an elevator by herself for an hour.

It happened just as the power went out during a windstorm Friday night in Chemainus, as she entered the elevator on the fourth floor to return to the main floor.

“I was panicking at first,” Wickham conceded. “It was pitch black.

”It wasn’t honestly as bad as I thought it could have been when you hear stories about that.”

She alerted family members to her predicament. Wickham had just seen a news report the night before about students being trapped in an elevator at UVic and ironically found herself in the same situation.

The news report prompted thoughts about the necessities to get through that ordeal and she was fortunate to be so equipped with what she believed to be the main essential. The ‘help’ button didn’t work at all.

“Your phone so you can text, you’ve got a light, you’ve got music,” said Wickham.

She put on her Jose Feliciano playlist and played Boardscapes games until help arrived.

“The hotel staff was fantastic,” praised Wickham. “They even gave me a bottle of wine.”

She noted the hotel was ironically just being equipped days later with a new safety mechanism that will prevent such occurrences from happening again. During outages, the elevator drops to the first floor and the door opens.

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This was part of Lori Wickham’s view, lit up by her phone, for an hour from inside the Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn. (Photo by Lori Wickham)

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