VANCOUVER – Hydro crews continue working to reconnect tens of thousands of customers who lost power as a windstorm swept across southwestern BC.
BC Hydro says an estimated 500,000 customers were left in the dark Saturday as 80 kilometre an hour winds brought trees and branches crashing down onto power lines, cars _ and in Surrey onto a woman in her 40s who was walking with her daughter. The RCMP described the woman’s injuries as life-threatening.
Simi Heer with BC Hydro says crews did make significant progress overnight restoring power to hundreds of thousands of customers but an estimated 180,000 customers were waiting for power to be reconnected in the afternoon. “We are restoring thousands of customers every hour and it’s looking like we will have most people back up by late Sunday, so later today. We are still getting to all those trouble areas one at a time and crews are in the field working as quickly as possible.”
“The hardest hit areas are Surrey, Coquitlam, Vancouver and Burnaby. We do have about 250 workers in the field right now so those are power line technicians who are actually making repairs and education management crews who are needed to remove trees and branches from power lines,” Heer explains.
Heer notes the website is a key resource for our customers and admits it’s been very frustrating that it went down during the height of the storm. “We have been having technical difficulties but are working through them. In the meantime we are doing everything possible to spread information through other channels. We are very active on social media, you can follow us @bchydro and we are also doing our best to get the information to news outlets like you to help us inform our customers.”
Strong winds also swept through Rock Creek in the Kootenay Boundary region, where a 44-square-kilometre wildfire destroyed 30 homes earlier this month.
The storm triggered wind warnings from Environment Canada, forced the temporary closure of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and slowed ferry service between Victoria and the mainland.
— john vang (@jvizzo604) August 29, 2015
CLICK HERE for updated BC Hydro estimates for when power will be restored to your area.