BC Hydro said trees continued to fall on the lines even after the storm had passed (BC Hydro photo)

BC Hydro said trees continued to fall on the lines even after the storm had passed (BC Hydro photo)

‘It’s like a miracle’: Bella Coola Valley resident grateful for power after five days in the dark

Hydro crews continue to work to fully restore power to the valley

Some customers are still without power as BC Hydro crews work around the clock to restore the valley. Last Thursday’s (Nov. 26) storm predicted rain but dumped heavy, wet snow instead, bringing down trees and power lines all over the valley and shutting down the highway.

Environment Canada noted between Nov. 26 and 28, 145.6 cm of snow fell over the valley.

According to the BC Hydro outage map, there are approximately 75 customers still without power in three main areas: east of Michelle Drive in Hagensborg, a small section on Ong-Ten-Kai Streed downtown, and the 2200 block in Hagensborg.

“Trees continued to fall onto lines even after the actual storm had passed,” said Dave Mosure, BC Hydro community relations coordinator. “Current outages can always be found on our site.”

Mosure confirmed the Valley now has four hydro crews, with one more on the way. This includes two contractor crews and two vegetation crews, with one more on the way and a manager onsite to coordinate.

BC Hydro said they’ve received reports of trees on power lines and want to remind customers, if you see a fallen power line to stay back at least 10 m and call the local emergency number.

Tom Hermance, who lives near the end of the line in Saloompt, lost power Thursday night and was just restored last night (Nov. 30). Some customers experienced off and on outages, but Hermance had a steady outage for five days.

“It’s like a miracle [to have power back],” Hermance said. “Now I’m just trying to remember what I was doing before the blackout.”

Dawson Road Maintenance fully opened the highway on Nov. 29, but said conditions are still challenging and crews were working to clean up the mess.

“Our Anahim Lake Foreman reports 90 to 130 cm snowfall through the area in last 48 hours (Nov. 28),” the company said in a Facebook post. “We are so proud of our crews tireless efforts to restore safe access. We appreciate your patience as we continue to clear wood debris and widen sections of the road.”

Travelers are encouraged to check DriveBC before going out onto the roads.

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