900 BC Hydro workers still restoring power on Vancouver Island

900 BC Hydro workers still restoring power on Vancouver Island

WATCH: Hydro workers from across the province continue to work 16-hour days in the hardest hit areas of Vancouver Island after a major storm knocked out power to 120,000 customers on Dec. 20. 

Carl Hollmann lives on Ingram Road in the YellowPoint area south of Nanaimo. He still didn’t have power in his house Thursday afternoon but when crews arrived outside his home, he wanted to show how much he appreciated their hard work.

“Thank you so much for all your hard work. We appreciate it,” read a note on a box of nachos he was delivering to hydro crews working on his street.

The food, which included chicken wings, dried garlic ribs and potato skins, was the second meal dropped off to the crew in a span of 10 minutes, something the hardworking men and women on the front lines of the storm clean up are grateful for.

“They’re a little overwhelmed by it,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk. “People are bringing them food and hot coffee and keeping them warm and just expressing how grateful they are of the work and being away from their homes and all that.”

The crew of contract linemen and traffic control people working on Ingram Raod is from Abbotsford and they are part of the week-long effort to restore power.

“We have about 120 crews working today doing the last areas on the island that have been impacted,” said Olynyk. “We have contract crews coming from all over the province and Vancouver Island.”

One hundred and twenty crews translate into about 900 people still out there on the island trying to get the lights back on.

Many of them are on Gabriola Island, one of the hardest hit areas.

The days are 16 hours long and gruelling, starting at 6 a.m. but there’s been no shortage of people wanting to help out.

“They love their job. We’ve had guys volunteering to come off their Christmas vacation in other parts of the province wanting to come down and help out. You know it’s a brotherhood within the crew to want to help each other and they know what they signed up for,” added Olynyk.

And Hollmann said the food he dropped off is a big hit.

“Yeah they really appreciated it for sure and they seem to be in good spirits,” said Hollmann.

As of Thursday evening, there were about 2,888 BC Hydro customers on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands without power.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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