BC Hydro has restored power to 88 per cent of customers following heavy snowfall that left over 93,000 customers without power.
As of 11:30 a.m., about 10,000 remain without power, mostly on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The hardest hit areas include Courtenay, Nanaimo, and Mayne Island.
Locally, the repairs are nearly complete.
At 8:30 a.m., power outages were affecting 5,372 customers in the Comox Valley. By 2:30 p.m., a total of 346 customers remained without power in the Comox Valley – meaning 94 per cent of the outages had been restored.
Crews are working around-the-clock to repair power lines, power poles and other damaged electrical equipment, but are experiencing some challenges in rural areas because the snow has restricted road access. Ferry cancellations have also caused delays in power restoration to some of the smaller Gulf Islands.
Unlike a traditional windstorm where power outages often occur rapidly, snowstorms can present unique challenges because of the time it takes for snow to weigh down trees and branches, causing them to fall onto electrical equipment at a slower, more sporadic pace. Because of this, there were hundreds of smaller repair jobs, and outage numbers spiked today even though the storm has calmed.
BC Hydro’s goal is to have all customers restored by this evening; however, it may take longer to get to some of the customers in more remote areas where crews have experienced access challenges. BC Hydro is also receiving reports of downed lines and is reminding customers to stay back 10 metres and dial 911 should they encounter a downed line.
BC Hydro thanks its customers for their patience as crews work to make difficult repairs and restore power. For updated power restoration estimates as they become available visit bchydro.com/outages.