'It's all hands on deck': thousands still without power in B.C. Interior
BC Hydro and Fortis B.C. crews work to restore widespread outages following Tuesday's windstorm
Tens of thousands of residents in the B.C. Interior woke up without power on Wednesday morning as crews continue to repair damage caused by a powerful windstorm.
On Tuesday, winds clocked at more than 100 km/h in some places swept across the province, downing trees and damaging infrastructure.
Wind is howling <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/vernon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#vernon</a> right now. Oct 17 at 12:25 pm PT. Has been blowing for an hour. Lights flickering inside! <a href="https://twitter.com/predatorridge?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@predatorridge</a> <a href="https://t.co/IdmPutAXJx">pic.twitter.com/IdmPutAXJx</a>—@ClaireMartinWx
As of Wednesday morning, BC Hydro said 6,000 customers in the Okanagan and 2,000 in the Thompson-Shuswap were still without electricity.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us, but reinforcements are now here from other parts of the province and it's all hands on deck," said spokesperson Dag Sharman.
60 different outages in Vernon alone
Sharman said the hardest hit areas were Salmon Arm, Vernon, Nakusp and the Kootenays.
Outage affecting 2395 customers in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ColdstreamBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ColdstreamBC</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Spallumcheen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Spallumcheen</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VernonBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VernonBC</a>. Crews will share updates here: <a href="https://t.co/6V3z6SMy3K">https://t.co/6V3z6SMy3K</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCStorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BCStorm</a> <a href="https://t.co/NRQBYqNRKp">pic.twitter.com/NRQBYqNRKp</a>—@bchydro
"The challenge is that there are so many separate outages. A storm like this is bringing down trees and blowing branches into our power lines and this is happening in various places."
He said in Vernon alone, there were 60 different places with outages.
Fortis B.C. meanwhile, said most of their outages were repaired overnight.
Crews work around the clock
"We had 24 hour service going on last night," said Fortis B.C. spokesperson Tanya Laing Gahr.
"We had all of our crews on standby as soon as we knew a storm was coming. They were ready to roll."
She said any remaining Fortis outages should be repaired by the end of the day. She is also reminding people to stay away from downed power lines.
Sharman said it is difficult to estimate when BC Hydro power will be fully restored.
"We really appreciate the understanding of folks as we meet this challenge."
With files from CBC's Daybreak South.