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Widespread power outages in B.C.’s Southern Interior following heavy snowfall

Winter storm knocks out power for thousands of British Columbians
WATCH: Thousands of British Columbians began 2020 in the dark, after a major storm knocked out power. Jordan Armstrong reports.

Tens of thousands of people in B.C.’s Southern and Central Interior rang the new year in in the dark, though crews have since managed to restore power to most.

BC Hydro said Thursday that at the peak of the disruption, more than 160,000 customers suffered power outages in the Central and Southern Interior following significant snowfall.

The company said it was able to restore power to more than 60 per cent of customers within 24 hours and 90 per cent within 48 hours “despite poor weather and treacherous road conditions.”

A map showing scores of power outages throughout B.C.’s Interior on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.
A map showing scores of power outages throughout B.C.’s Interior on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. BC Hydro

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WATCH: (Aired Dec. 30, 2019) Heavy snow expected for the Okanagan

Heavy snow expected for the Okanagan
Heavy snow expected for the Okanagan

By Thursday morning, BC Hydro said an estimated 11,200 people were still in the dark, mostly in tough to reach areas near Salmon Arm, Vernon, Nakusp and Kamloops.

According to BC Hydro, as of 1 p.m. on Thursday, there were:

  • 191 outages in the Thompson and Shuswap regions affecting 9,902 customers
  • 76 outages in the Okanagan and Kootenay regions affecting 2,500 customers
  • 17 outages in the Central Interior affecting 112 customers
  • 6 outages in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast affecting 332 customers

There were also two outages in Northern B.C. and two on Vancouver Island, with each one affecting less than five customers.

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The company says it is preparing for a new windstorm forecast to hit B.C.’ South Coast and Vancouver Island Thursday and Friday, and is warning customers to be ready for more possible power outages.

In related news, FortisBC is reporting just six power outages in the Kootenays.

For more on BC Hydro’s power outages, click here.

For more on FortisBC’s power outages, click here.