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Snow, power outages persist for parts of Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island

Last Updated Jan 16, 2020 at 11:36 am MST

FILE: Snow on power lines and poles. (Courtesy BC Hydro/Twitter)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Hydro crews on the Island and Sunshine Coast are working to restore power to several thousand customers left in the dark after Wednesday’s wind storm.

At the peak of the storm, power outages were impacting 30,000 homes and businesses. By Thursday morning, power was restored to two-thirds of these customers.

Sechelt, Port Alberni, and Ucluelet have the most persistent problems; each has about 2,000 customers without power.

“A windstorm on Vancouver Island and the South Coast has caused damage to BC Hydro infrastructure, leading to power outages for customers,” says a release from BC Hydro Thursday.

BC Hydro was bracing for the effects of the wind whipping through the region Wednesday, as ferries were cancelled and provincial travel warnings were issued.

Spokesperson Susie Reider told NEWS 1130 the utility was poised to respond.

“Our crews can activate their emergency response plans at a moment’s notice,” she said.

High winds can knock over trees and dislodge branches, wreaking havoc on wires, Rieder said.

The other concern in a windstorm can be downed power lines, which should immediately be reported to 911.

Rieder said anyone who spots a downed power line should stay at least 10 metres away.

With Wednesday’s wild weather and more snow in the forecast, Rieder said it’s a good time for everyone to make sure they have a 72-hour emergency kit.

With files from Kathryn Tindale