VANCOUVER ISLAND (NEWS 1130) – It will take until New Years Day to restore power to everyone still without it on Vancouver Island, more than a week since a major windstorm.
About 1,600 customers remain off the grid, primarily on the southern Gulf Islands which was the hardest hit by last week’s storm. BC Hydro doesn’t expect to restore power to some of those homes and businesses until New Years Eve.
“Even just replacing one power pole can take up to 8 hours so when you have hundreds of those to do, you can imagine that we really had a lot of work ahead of us here,” said Mora Scott with BC Hydro.
“A lot of broken power poles, a lot of spans of wires down, cross arms that need to be replaced as well as transformers.”
— Bruce Claggett (@BruceClaggett) December 28, 2018
Since last Thursday’s windstorm, BC Hydro says it has restored power to a total of over 700,000 customers across the province. The crown corporation says it has crews working around the clock and has brought in additional workers from Alberta and the East Coast, with about 70 crew members expected to be working on Friday.
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The priorities for now include Galiano, Pender, Mayne, Saltspring, Gabriola, Thetis, and Saturna Islands.
BC Hydro estimates Pender and Thetis will have power restored on Friday. Galiano, Mayne, Saturna, and Bruce Peak is expected to be back on the grid on Saturday. On Sunday, Salt Spring Island is expected to get its power, leaving Parker Island to get its power last, on Monday.
People who’ve now gone through the thick of the holidays without power are making the most of the situation. One person in Salt Spring tells NEWS 1130 “hats off” to the hard working linesman, adding dozens enjoyed their Christmas dinners by candlelight and have been BBQing leftover turkey to get by.