LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS 1130) – Power has been restored to all but a few hundred BC Hydro customers in the Fraser Valley, five days after the lights went out during an ice storm.
Ice-laden tree branches in places like Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley have been falling on power lines and knocking down power poles.
BC Hydro says some of its equipment has been encased in ice.
“Crews have actually had to remove the ice from equipment, in order to complete some repairs. In some cases, equipment has to be replaced itself, just because it’s been so damaged from the ice,” explains Tanya Fish with the utility.
That — combined with icy roads, poor visibility, and fallen trees — has made for a big challenge for crews, who have been working 16-hour days to try to restore power.
The utility company says crews have managed to get the electricity re-connected for over 159,000 customers.
Fish adds there may be a few hazards out there. “We are still seeing some downed power lines in the Fraser Valley area. Just a reminder to anyone that comes across a downed line to stay back at least 10 metres — the length of a city bus — and call 9-1-1 to report that.”
Some people have taken to social media to blasting BC Hydro for vague and inaccurate information on its website.
— Trish Leach (@leach_trish) January 1, 2018
My complaint isn’t with the linesmen, but rather with the online and telephone personnel. The information online would change rapidly, and would also seem pretty incurrate. There would be no outage posted but we would be without power.
— James VANDERVEEN (@JamesVANDERVEE3) January 1, 2018
But others are showing their appreciation to the hundreds of crews who have been working tirelessly to get the power back on.
Thank you for the update . We really appreciate all of your teams hard work during this weather event.
— Dan Beaumont (@DanBeaumont7) January 1, 2018
Thank you! Working in the cold & dark on a long weekend to get power up & running is going above & beyond. I know they are getting paid well but I still appreciate their commitment.
— Viv E Walker (@YVRbus) January 1, 2018