“We have a lot of damage from trees and branches coming down on our lines. So we have hundreds of individual outages right now.”
That’s Mora Scott of BC Hydro, talking about why so many people still don’t have power after yesterday’s big wind storm.
“At the peak we had about 110,000. Earlier in the day we’d seen the biggest impact in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and on the Island in Victoria and Duncan. But around dinner time last night we had the storm sweep through the Lower Mainland and impacted areas like North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, and Coquitlam. Crews worked all day yesterday and throughout the night and they’ll continue to work throughout today. We’ve made some great progress and are down to about 30,000 customers right now. We have about 50 crews working in the Lower Mainland, 25 BC Hydro crews and 25 of our contractor crews. We’ve also brought in crews from the Interior to support as well. Crews are going to have to go to each one of the damaged areas and make repairs. Customers will come on throughout the day, as they did throughout the night. And we’re hoping to have the majority of customers back on by the end of the day today.”
Chilliwack and Hope seemed to be the hardest hit by the windstorm, one person reporting the shingles on their roof were ripped off by the sheer power of the wind.
Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz says uprooted trees brought down power to many parts of her city.
“We have been dealing with approximately 60-plus trees that came down across roadways, and many of those trees brought hydro lines down, hence the widespread power outages.”
She says in addition to the power being knocked out, up to 20 roads were closed as a result of the storm.
But Gaetz says despite the inconvenience which can be caused by the power outages, spirits have remained up.
“The people have been very polite. We’re not getting cranky calls here at the city at all. As a matter of fact, people are really concerned about how they can help out and what they can do to help the situation.”
North Shore goes dark
BC Hydro says a substation outage in North and West Vancouver knocked out power to about 10,ooo customers. Shortly before hand, bright flashes were seen coming from the North Shore.
— Sean Wilson (@SeanDGwilson) November 18, 2015
Extremely busy period for fire crews on the North Shore, there could be potential delays responding to calls as a result of the windstorm.
— DistNorthVanFF’s (@DNorthVanFire) November 18, 2015
Ferry delays and cancellations
The strong winds also caused causing chaos for ferry travelers.
BC Ferries has cancelled sailings from Tsawassen to the Southern Gulf Islands for the remainder of the day. there were also delays from Victoria to the Southern Gulf Islands.