The great flicker of 2018 was caused by a car crash, BC Hydro says
2.5-second power outage seen across the Lower Mainland after vehicle crashes into pole in Delta
Was it a crashing UFO? A meteorite? There's no shortage of theories on the cause of an electrical flicker seen across the Lower Mainland and as far away as Vancouver Island and Washington State on Sunday night.
But according to BC Hydro, the real source of the 2.5-second flickering of lights and screens at 7:30 p.m. was much more mundane and disappointingly terrestrial.
"A car crashed into a pole in Delta," spokesperson Susie Rieder told CBC News. "The pole was shattered and the transmission structure was brought down by the impact, affecting several circuits."
Attn motorists - Brooke Road will be closed from Nordel Way to 85B Avenue overnight, potentially till noon tomorrow for repair of a downed power pole.—@deltapolice
The 230-kilovolt transmission line feeds power systems across a wide geographic area, so it's possible that social media reports of flickering lights as far away as Edmonton were connected to the crash, Rieder added.
What happened on Sunday night is extremely rare, and there are backups built into the system to prevent a widespread, long-term power outage, she said.
"We do have redundancy built into the system and that allows us to continue providing power in situations like this," Rieder said.
"As soon as the circuit tripped, this caused our backup system to switch over to another circuit to avoid any outages."
Delta Police say they don't have any information about what caused the crash.