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Thousands without power as storm hits Lower Mainland

Last Updated Jan 10, 2020 at 2:04 pm PST

Outages around the Lower Mainland on Jan. 10, 2020. (Source BC Hydro)
Summary

A number of outages across the Lower Mainland impacted thousands of customers on Friday

Snow and wind are being blamed for a number of power outages, but crashes are also to blame in some areas

BC Hydro says customers should always prepare for possible outages

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – Thousands of homes and businesses are without power across the Lower Mainland.

The outages are due to a number of different reasons, including crashes and, of course, a storm that’s sweeping across the region.

While one part of Surrey was impacted because of an early morning car crash,  BC Hydro spokesperson Kevin Aquino says the reasons, at this point, are more of a mixed bag.

“What ends up happening is that snow does weigh heavy on braches, which causes them to snap on our power lines and that could cause power outages,” he explains.

Outages are impacting people in pockets across the region, but Aquino says BC Hydro is prepared for more.

“We do have some precipitation coming down, particularly wet snow,” he tells NEWS 1130. “Because of the current situation, the crews will be doing a variety of tasks, whether it’s picking up branches off lines, restringing wire, or they could be doing a full power pole replacement, depending on the severity of the damage from the storm.”

He adds they are already looking ahead to next week, with similar weather expected.

“Crews can activate storm response times at a moment’s notice. We’ve been tracking this weather system quite closely and this definitely enables up to ramp up our BC hydro crews, contractor crews, and call centre agents,” he says, adding they will be ready with technicians, meteorologists and dispatchers on stand-by.

The windstorm has already impacted BC Ferries, which has been forced to cancel all of its Friday morning sailings along its major routes between the mainland and Vancouver Island.

With more wind expected, Aquino says it’s important customers are prepared.

“No matter how big or small a weather event is, we always go back and take any learnings,” he explains. “One thing we did learn from the most recent storm was that customers were still calling BC Hydro to notify us about downed lines.”

You’re being reminded that a downed power line is considered an emergency, and requires you to stay at least 10 metres back and call 911.

Of course, it’s hard to say just how much damage a storm can cause. Aquino says it’s important people are always prepared for prolonged outages, have an emergency kit handy, and know how to reach BC Hydro.

You can call the utility 1.800.BC.Hydro or head to its website.