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UPDATE: Power restored to nearly all customers affected by B.C. windstorm

Many are still without power on Saturday morning following a windstorm on Friday that BC Hydro said caused widespread electrical damage in multiple regions.
Many are still without power on Saturday morning following a windstorm on Friday that BC Hydro said caused widespread electrical damage in multiple regions. BC Hydro

UPDATE: As of 5 p.m. on Saturday, the number of outages and BC Hydro customers affected by Friday’s windstorm had dropped dramatically.

In its latest update, BC Hydro said there were just 35 power outages affecting approximately 447 customers. The largest portion of those 447 were in the Thompson and Shuswap regions, where 329 customers were still without power.

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At 2 p.m., the number of BC Hydro power outages across the province had dropped to 72 affecting 1,137 customers from 111, affecting 2,998 customers.

A BC Hydro spokesperson said restoration efforts are ongoing, noting Kamloops, for example, had 407 customers without power in the morning, but that had been reduced to 259 in the early afternoon.

Those 259 customers, noted the spokesperson, were affected by eight separate outages.

“It’s not just one outage that’s affecting these communities,” said the spokesperson.

To view BC Hydro’s power outage map, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Many homes throughout B.C. are still without power following a windstorm that barreled across much of the province Friday.

According to BC Hydro, most of the outages are in the Interior and most are windstorm-related, caused by trees falling across power lines.

On Friday, BC Hydro said winds caused widespread damage to its electrical systems in multiple regions, resulting in outages to more than 110,000 customers.

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On Saturday, a BC Hydro spokesperson said the majority of Friday’s power outages were windstorm related, “and that as of this morning, we are 97 per cent restored.”

The spokesperson said BC Hydro was aware of the storm and was able to prepare for it, but that some of its customers are still without power

The spokesperson added “again it’s all hands on deck today and we’re trying to get everybody restored by this evening,” noting 250 people across the province were working to get power restored.

Also Saturday, B.C. Ferries said the windstorm resulted in 25 sailing cancellations Friday, with the bulk (14) being on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route.

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A spokesperson said B.C. Ferries is now back to its regular schedule and that it has added additional sailings for Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay to help with the backlog.

READ MORE: B.C. windstorm leads to power outages, ferry and transit cancellations

On its website, BC Hydro said the hardest hit areas were the Southern Interior, Lower Mainland and northern Vancouver Island, though it noted a snowstorm in the Peace region also caused damage and resulted in outages in Dawson Creek, Chetwynd and Smithers.

As of Saturday morning, 9:26 a.m., these were BC Hydro’s latest outage updates:

Total outages: 111, affecting 2,998 customers.

Windstorm delays ferry service
Windstorm delays ferry service

Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast: 11 outages (Chilliwack, Coquitlam, two in Delta, Langley, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Richmond, Vancouver and two in Surrey) affecting 478 customers.

Okanagan: Five outages affecting 714 customers. Most of the outages are in the North Okanagan.

Thompson and Shuswap: 35 outages affecting 1,147 customers, though this list includes the 100 Mile House region in the Cariboo. In the Kamloops area, there are 11 outages affecting 419 customers, while Salmon Arm has nine outages affecting 692 customers.

Vancouver Island: 12 outages affecting 348 customers. Ten of the 11 are on the northern half, including one in Courtenay, two on Quadra Island, two near Nanaimo, four on Gabriola Island and one near Parksville. The lone outage in the southern half is on Saturna Island.

Central Interior: One outage in Prince George affecting five customers.

Northern B.C.: 47 outages affecting 306 customers. Nearly all of the outages are in or around Dawson Creek.

Global News has reached out to BC Hydro for more information on Saturday’s outages.

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