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How just one tree unplugged North Island power for a full day

BC Hydro explains why everything from Woss north was out for 12 hours on Dec. 9
BC Hydro photo

If you’re wondering what exactly caused the all-day North Island power outage back on Saturday, Dec. 9, here’s the answer.

After the power went off to the entire Woss-north region around 10:40 in the morning, it was listed online as a “transmission circuit failure” before finally being restored around 11 p.m.

“There was a tree on the line just north of Gold River, so that unfortunately impacted the entire North Island,” said Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro’s spokesperson for the region. “We couldn’t fly right away [due to bad weather] so crews had to manually patrol the line, and considering how strong the winds were reported off the north coast of the island [150 to 170 knots], to have only one tree come down on the line is quite surprising.”

Once crews learned where the tree was resting on the line, they went in to remove it and then had to reset the line by taking the grounding off at the substation so the line could eventually be re-energized.

Olynyk noted that all the hard work BC Hydro crews have done with updating old equipment and vegetation management has “paid off.”

He added while it’s unfortunate there’s only one power line for the entire North Island region, there’s no plans to add another one at this time.

“We’d have to go through some of the most challenging terrain in North America [to install a second line].”

READ ALSO: Community shines bright during power outage

Tyson Whitney

About the Author: Tyson Whitney

I have been working in the community newspaper business for nearly a decade, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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