BC Hydro working to restore power following winter wallop of South Coast

Click to play video: 'BC Hydro crews prepare for power outages and freezing rain'
BC Hydro crews prepare for power outages and freezing rain
BC Hydro says the upcoming freezing rain could result in significant damage to its system over the next few days. It's urging customers to carry an emergency event and have a plan in the event of an extended outage. – Dec 23, 2022

BC Hydro crews are continuing their cleanup of Friday’s storm, which, at one point, knocked out power to several Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland communities.

Homes and businesses in Tofino, Ucluelet, and Ahousat have since had their power restored.

Around 2,774 customers across the Lower Mainland — mainly in Surrey, White Rock, Langley and Abbotsford — were still waiting for the lights to come back on as of early Saturday afternoon.

This is an improvement since the morning, when, as Mora Scott with BC Hydro says, crews were working to restore power to 17,000 customers.

Read more: B.C. weather: Highway advisories aplenty, travel not recommended in some areas

“Obviously, we have crews out in full force right now. They’re working to repair the damage to get those customers back up as quickly as possible,” Scott said.

Story continues below advertisement

“But like everybody else, we’re keeping a very close eye on this weather today, particularly the freezing rain that’s hitting the eastern Fraser Valley and we know that that has the potential to cause some additional outages today as well.”

Scott says a combination of snow already on trees plus additional moisture and freezing rain weighed down tree branches, making them brittle.

Click to play video: 'Winter storm causes problems across B.C.'
Winter storm causes problems across B.C.

Unlike a windstorm — which generally knocks out power to many people very quickly — Scott says the ice and snow built up on trees could lead to more power outages in the coming days, as the weight takes its toll on branches.

Record-low temperatures also caused record-high electricity demand, Scott says.

“We saw our (electricity) demand record fall, both on Monday evening and on Wednesday evening,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: BC Hydro sees record demand for electricity during province-wide cold snap

Sponsored content