January 23, 2019 5:51 pm
Updated: January 23, 2019 8:46 pm

Snowfall temporarily disrupts power in Penticton

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Electricity was knocked out to approximately 1,000 customers in Penticton on Wednesday morning when a tree fell across a power line.

The tree fell at 42 Huth Avenue at approximately 6 a.m., with power being disrupted for around an hour before it was mostly restored. The city said around 100 customers located close to the tree was had to wait until 9 a.m. before getting power back.

The city also said Penticton Regional Hospital was in the affected area, but it has back-up generators that immediately start when a power failure is detected.

READ MORE: Overnight snow delays curbside collection in South Okanagan

Regarding Tuesday night’s snowfall, approximately six centimetres was measured in Penticton and seven cm in Osoyoos. Kelowna received 11 cm, while Princeton had 26 cm.

“We actually started last night at 8:30 p.m. until 11, doing the main arterial routes,” John Fenske, City of Penticton Public Works superintendent, said of clearing roads. “And then this morning, we were back at it at 4 a.m.

“We were prepared for the snow event, so we had it already prescheduled for all the staff to come in.”

The tree that knocked out power was located at 42 Huth Avenue.

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Snowplow operator Slade Lindquist said it was “the biggest snow event we’ve had all year and probably the biggest one-day snowfall we’ve had in quite a few years.

“It was really heavy snow and really slippery underneath. I got stuck just trying to turn around.”

READ MORE: Police urging caution on Okanagan roads after overnight snow

Penticton deputy fire chief Chris Forster said because of last night’s heavy snowfall, fire crews attended six or seven calls for power and cable lines down.

“What the problem is when it’s wet, heavy snow, the weight is accumulating on the lines and it’s actually pulling the wires away from the house,” said Forster. “Especially some of the facial boards are a little bit rotted and the screw part is pulling right out and the lines were hanging down. Some were right on the ground.”

Forster also said some motorists aren’t driving to the road conditions.

“People don’t slow down and take as much caution as they should, so that results in an increase in motor vehicle accidents,” said Forster. “You have to drive to the conditions. It seems obvious, people are generally in a hurry, but you need to slow down, take care and caution because you will get there.”

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