BC Hydro is planning to go in an clear power lines near McLeese Lake in April in hopes of reducing the potential for line contact and power outages. Photo submitted

Hydro planning tree trimming and removal near power lines at McLeese Lake

CRD Area D director Steve Forseth contacted Hydro after hearing concerns from local residents

A Cariboo Regional District director has been asking BC Hydro to address power outage issues in the community of McLeese Lake.

“In that last 60 to 70 days there were 10 to 12 different power outages with a really big one recently that impacted McLeese Lake, Soda Creek and Big Lake,” said Area D Director Steve Forseth.

Read more: Some McLeese Lake residents start 2019 without power

When the hydro system was installed in the 19070s, McLeese Lake only had summer residents, Forseth added.

“Obviously since then, over time, it’s now year-round residents.”

Foresth he first contacted BC Hydro after hearing from some concerned constituents.

During the Natural Resources Forum held in Prince George in January, he followed up with BC Hydro’s community relations co-ordinator Dave Mosure, asking if anything could be done to develop a long-term solution to the challenge.

“I showed him some photographs that residents had shown me around the line and he agreed to look at it. It is fairly complicated because it is not that easy to move an established hydro line where it makes it a little bit easier for hydro crews to do repairs when necessary.”

Mosure told the Tribune when the power system was originally installed in the 1970s, BC Hydro received input from the customers whose seasonal cabins were to be served.

“They did not want poles and lines in front of the cabins as that would obstruct the view, so the lines were built in behind their lots and power was brought in from that direction,” he said.

Some of the trees and branches associated with this year’s outages were trimmed, or removed as part of the power restoration work, he said, noting since then BC Hydro’s vegetation management team visited the location and developed a plan for more trimming or removal of trees to maintain clearances and reduce the potential for line contact and outages going forward.

“This work is to be tendered in March and done in April of this year,” Mosure added.


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