Windstorm causes mass power outages

Monday’s wind gusts of up to 65 kilometres an hour caused power outages in and around Williams Lake, affecting around 5,000 customers.

Monday’s wind gusts of up to 65 kilometres an hour caused power outages in and around Williams Lake, affecting around 5,000 customers.

Some customers were without power for a couple of hours, while others waited longer.  By the next day, however, power had been restored.

Several outages were caused by trees down on hydro wires, says BC Hydro. The biggest areas hit were east of Highway 97, affecting 2,652 customers; west of Dog Creek Road, affecting 2,105 customers; east of Likely Road, with 875 customers affected; and within Williams Lake, the largest being in the 600 block of Carson Drive, where 82 customers were without power.

BC Hydro community relations manager Bob Gammer says removing fallen trees from hydro lines is the company’s responsibility.

“People are going to look around and think their power is out so it’s OK to remove a tree, but we say no because you just never know what could happen,” Gammer says.

Crews might be out working to restore power, didn’t see that tree, and the line could suddenly be energized while somebody is trying to cut it down. The tree could be energized and that could be fatal.

“If people see a tree on a line we want them to call us at 1-888-POWERON,” he explains. Even if people see wires down on the ground, a broken hydro pole, or a tree smashed through and caused damage, they are encouraged to let hydro know.

People are also encouraged to stay at least 10 metres away from any downed lines.

While smart meters have been installed at many homes in the region, Gammer says they wouldn’t have helped let BC Hydro know where power outages were and how many customers were affected.

By this time next year, however, the meters will be help BC Hydro know much sooner because customer calls alerting an outage won’t be necessary.

“The smart meter will actually be able to do that job next year. For those who are getting a meter on their home it does not immediately start doing that job. It will continue to function like an older meter in that it will record all the consumption information, just like an old meter did, and we will still need a meter reader to come around and record the consumption data.

In 2013, the system will start doing that wireless communication and then BC Hydro will know automatically when and where there are power outages.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read