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Power restored to all BC Hydro customers impacted by NYE storm: utility

A BC Hydro crew member works on a power pole on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 near Salmon Arm. Megan Turcato / Global News

Five days after a New Year’s Eve storm knocked out power to around 160,000 BC Hydro customers, the utility said it’s restored power to the last remaining affected customers.

The utility said 35 customers in Johnson’s Landing area, in B.C.’s Kootenays, were the final group to have power restored.

They came back online just after 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 5, five days after the storm.

Click to play video: 'Some Shuswap BC Hydro customers told to brace for no power all weekend' Some Shuswap BC Hydro customers told to brace for no power all weekend
Some Shuswap BC Hydro customers told to brace for no power all weekend – Jan 4, 2020
A utility spokesperson said the whole Lardeau Valley, including Johnson’s Landing, “took longer to restore than other areas because of the significant amount of damage [which included] broken poles, numerous trees down on the power lines, [and] multiple spans of power lines down.”
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The utility said the heavy snowfall and local terrain also made it difficult for crews to access the area.

READ MORE: Power outages aplenty throughout province, BC Hydro map shows

The power restoration is being met with relief by those who lived with the multi-day outage.

Some in the North Shuswap were without power for at least four days, only getting consistent power back on Saturday.

READ MORE: BC Hydro warning of possible overnight power outages

To help residents cope with the outage, the Shuswap Emergency Program opened a temporary warming centre at the Lakeview Community Centre in Anglemont.

The president of the community centre society and local firefighter Jim Dingeldein said 20 or 30 people showed up at the warming station on Saturday for soup and coffee and to share stories of the outage.

Click to play video: 'Thousands without power for third day in BC’s Southern Interior' Thousands without power for third day in BC’s Southern Interior
Thousands without power for third day in BC’s Southern Interior – Jan 2, 2020

Dingeldein said many people got by with generators during the outage.

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“We had a lot of trees down, so we were cutting trees down, trying to get the roads open, helping people get their generators started and hooked up,” he said.

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

“It was an opportunity for the neighbourhood to come together and everybody did.”

While the power outages caused by the New Year’s Eve storm have been fixed, BC Hydro is still busy dealing with more recent power outages including thousands that lost power Sunday afternoon in the Lower Mainland.

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