Osprey nesting and a goose are wreaking havoc in Lake Country, causing several power outages in the last week.
More than 3,500 BC Hydro customers were without power on Thursday, including Sitara Liquor Store. The owner Herkoules Katountas said he is frustrated as this is the fourth power outage in the last 10 days.
“BC Hydro, we have no one to call, no one will answer the phone. This needs to be rectified; like, we can’t keep living this way. We can’t stay in business, and we have staff that need to get paid,” said Sitara Liquor Store owner Herkoules Katountas.
Store manager Katherine Mcilravey added that without power, the store is forced to close its doors.
“I don’t think it will be anytime soon so we are just going to shut the doors and go back home for now and then hopefully our staff member can let us know when the powers on,” said Sitara Liquor Store manager Katherine Mcilravey.
Sitara Animal Hospital echoed the same frustration as they have been forced to turn away patients.
“It’s, unfortunately, impacting our business in a negative way because our clients come from out of town,” said Sitara Animal Hospital owner Dr. Teresa Jacobson.
“Most of my clients are referred from other general practitioners and are coming from distances as far away as Revelstoke, Prince George, Fort McMurray and it is very difficult to call those clients on the day of surgery and cancel their appointment.”
BC Hydro said they understand customers are frustrated and are actively working to address the problem.
“Four outages in a week — absolutely, that is a lot to deal with. We understand that they are frustrated and tired of these outages and the impacts to local business,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Dave Cooper.
According to BC Hydro, a pole with a platform designed for osprey nesting is currently occupied by a goose which has forced the osprey to nest on a pole without a platform.
“The issue with that is that there are eggs present in the goose nest so we can’t just go in and remove the goose nest off of that platform pole mainly because they are federally protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act. Osprey nests, on the other hand, are provincially protected,” said Cooper.
The osprey have been dropping debris and sticks onto the cross arm which has resulted in fires and subsequent outages.
Cooper added that BC Hydro is taking preventative steps including the placement of geese decoys in the trouble spots.
“They act almost as a scarecrow to deter from more activity from happening on our poles,” he said.
“Again, just bear with us as we monitor this situation and install some preventative steps so hopefully next spring we don’t have to go through this same situation.”
According to BC Hydro’s natural resources specialist, geese typically vacate the nest once the eggs have hatched, and believe that will happen within the next five days, hopefully resolving the issue.