British Columbia

Hundreds on B.C. coast still without power after storm, despite overnight repairs

Nearly 600 people in the Lower Mainland and several hundred on Vancouver Island remained powerless on Saturday after major rainfall and winds battered the electrical grid. The storm cut the lights for a cumulative 55,000 residents total.

Hundreds in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island remained powerless after winds battered the coast.

A pedestrian's umbrella is blown inside-out during a rainstorm in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Hundreds are still without power in the Vancouver area and Vancouver Island after major rainfall and winds battered the electrical grid.

Nearly 600 households remained powerless Saturday in the Vancouver area, down from nearly 2,000 who woke up with their power still out earlier that morning.

More than 400 others on Vancouver island were still without electricity from the storm, which cut the lights for a cumulative 55,000 residents Friday, according to B.C. Hydro.

The worst outages hit around 8 p.m. Friday. That's when Environment Canada said winds gusted in some places up to 55 kilometres per hour, and 23,000 people's lights suddenly went dark.

"That was obviously related to the weather event," B.C. Hydro spokesperson Simi Heer told CBC News. "Obviously it's awful timing on a Friday evening when you're entertaining and having dinner with your family and friends."

"It's unfortunate ... but we do expect to have power restored at some point today for anyone who's impacted by yesterday's storm."

Heer said a total of 55,000 households lost their power over the course of the storm.

Many of the outages were caused by broken power poles or trees blown over electrical lines, but B.C. Hydro crews managed to reconnect most of them overnight, Heer said. 

Several substations also saw shutdowns requiring repairs. And some of the more "complicated" repairs will take Saturday to complete, the power utility said.

"We had crews who worked throughout the night making repairs to our system," Heer said. "Today they'll deal with the more complex repairs required."

"They will take some time to do that work because it's like a mini-construction project. ... We really appreciate everyone's patience."

On Saturday before noon, a series of major outages struck several communities on Vancouver Island, with households without power climbing to more than 7,000, many of them due to suspected "transmission circuit failure," B.C. Hydro said. It is unknown whether Saturday's new outages were related to the weather.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David P. Ball

@davidpball

David P. Ball is a CBC News reporter in Vancouver. Send story tips or ideas to david.ball@cbc.ca, or find him on Twitter @davidpball.

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