BC Hydro named the Interior wildfires as one of the year’s most notable for those in the business of providing power. Angie Mindus photo

BC Hydro lists most notable outages of 2017

Outages caused by wildfires tops the list

In a review of the year’s power outages, BC Hydro has named the Interior wildfires as one of the most memorable.

More than 61,000 customers in the Central and Southern Interior were without power this summer because of the 2017 wildfires, said a BC Hydro spokesperon.

The fires caused damage to 490 power poles, 114 cross arms and 377 spans of wire.

Residents impacted by the fires will recall the urgency for power restoration out west and east of Williams Lake, even while much of the area was under threat of evacuation alerts and orders. BC Hydro crews and contractors worked around the clock to repair the damage and were gifted with food and thanks by appreciative customers.

Other highlights named by BC Hydro include freezing rain and heavy, wet snow which caused more than 360,000 customers in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to lose power over a six-day period last February.

Animal encounters also topped the list when a beaver gnawed through a tree that fell on a power line, causing the community of Hixon to lose power. A squirrel that chewed through a piece of electrical equipment causing it to catch fire and cut off power to 180 customers in Burnaby – including a local cheese factory – also made the list.

Loose birthday party balloons contacting power lines were to blame for leaving 800 customers in downtown Vancouver without power on a Friday evening, while balloons used to promote a sale at a car dealership on Vancouver Island were also to blame for an outage to the surrounding area after they blew into a primary line.

In the category of human-caused outages, perpetrators cut down power poles with a chainsaw in Prince George to steal copper wire from a transformer. In the south, a tanker ship was attempting to anchor and contacted an underground cable, resulting in an outage to 2,000 customers on the southern Gulf Islands.

“Outages can be unpredictable,” said the spokesperson. “ That’s why BC Hydro encourages customers to be prepared for power outages by having a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a flashlight, extra batteries, first-aid kit, ready-to-eat non-perishable foods and bottled water.“

Just Posted

Advance polls ‘very busy’ over the weekend in Williams Lake, says Federal election official

Residents still have all day Tuesday to cast their ballot in advanced polls in Williams Lake

GoFundMe started after fire leaves Ruth Lake cabin severely damaged

‘The fire hit hard and fast - he lost everything’

Fire Prevention Week: Practise makes perfect at Horsefly fire department

The Horsefly Volunteer Fire Department has been operating since 1993

Fire Prevention Week: Big Lake Volunteer Fire Department proud to serve the community

The Big Lake Volunteer Fire Rescue covers a vast area of 522 square kilometers

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read