COLDSTREAM – It’s been one week since a towering fire at Coldstream Lumber and the remanufacturing mill has only been able to partially restart operations because a portion of the facility doesn’t have electricity.
“We could have been going Monday morning. We should have been going Monday morning,” says Andy Andersen with Coldstream Lumber. “Everybody else has done such a great job to get at it and to make it happen and it would be nice if [BC] Hydro could follow suit.”
The company is waiting for BC Hydro to replace some electrical transformers. Without electricity part of the mill remained quiet Monday and some staff are out of work until the power comes back.
The utility was also on site last Friday but there was a hitch; the transformers needed at Coldstream Lumber are an older type and hard to find. On Friday there was only one available in the Vernon area.
“They were hoping that they would be able to do it with a single transformer and that’s what was available,” says Dag Sharman, community relations manager with BC Hydro. “They knew they wanted to get the power back on as quickly as they possibly could so they took that one transformer, headed out there [and] tried to do the job. Unfortunately, it required more than that.”
It became clear that three transformers at Coldstream Lumber would need to be replaced.
BC Hydro says it searched the province for two more of the older models and received news that they had been located Tuesday afternoon.
Hydro officials say crews will be installing the transformers at Coldstream Lumber on Wednesday.