A power surge late Tuesday night set off ship alarms at CFB Esquimalt and caused lights to flicker at homes in the surrounding area.
Several people reported hearing the alarms coming from the naval base at around 10 p.m. At around the same time, many on social media wrote that their lights flickered and their televisions shut off.
What is happening on the South Island tonight? Duncan to Sooke to Gorge to Westshore, people reporting interrupted tv and radio signals & flickering power. Loud long horns in Esquimalt. No media reports. ???? ??????? #yyj
— Fuzz (@Van_Isle_Fuzz) June 27, 2018
What’s all the loud noise coming from the navy base in esquimalt tonight? Never heard loud horns go off in the middle of the night and for so long? @EsquimaltBC
— Carina Tahmazian (@CarinaTazzy) June 27, 2018
BC Hydro said Wednesday that the power surge was caused by a cable issue at the Horsey substation, near Topaz Park. The power surge triggered alarms on one of CFB Esquimalt’s ORCA-class ships. The ship was at D-jetty in Colwood. Other alarms were set off at buildings within both Dockyard and Naden. The naval base’s fire department responded to the alarms, determined that the alarms were false and reset the alarm.
At 12:30 a.m., a bilge pump alarm was triggered on a Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) at Y-jetty in Naden. It was unrelated to the earlier power surge. The duty watch determined the alarm was false and reset it. The base’s fire department also responded to that alarm.
Captain Jenn Jackson, public affairs officer with CFB Esquimalt said the cause of the alarm is under investigation but alarms can be set off from large shifts in the bilge water due to a rocking ship or a loss of power to the pump.
While some on social media reported hearing military helicopters, Jackson said there were no military helicopters operating in the vicinity of Victoria Tuesday night.