Drought conditions lead BC Hydro to warn of challenging storm season

Drought conditions lead BC Hydro to warn of challenging storm season
BC Hydro says drought conditions have made trees susceptible to damage from wind, which may lead to power outages.

BC Hydro says there is a chance the upcoming storm season can be challenging due to the drought conditions in the province over the summer.

The company says conditions this year are similar to those in 2015 and 2018 where storms caused significant power outages.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, October this year is likely to be one of the warmest on record, though this cannot be properly calculated until the end of the month.

READ MORE: Atmospheric river to bring ‘heavier rain’ for parts of the Island, but not like 2021 storm

Following months of dry weather, meteorologists with the agency are now predicting typical fall weather to return, with west Vancouver Island being predicted to receive between 40 to 100 mm of rain, and eastern parts of the Island from Victoria to Campbell River to get five to 20 mm.

BC Hydro says drought conditions have impacted structural roots of trees that provide stability, which will make the trees more susceptible to wind.

The company is increasing its vegetation management program this year due to the drought and weather-related challenges, but the company is urging customers to prepare for power outages.

Ways to do this include:

  • Having an emergency kit: supplies should last for at least 72 hours and include a flashlight, extra batteries, first aid kit, non-perishable foods and bottled water.
  • Knowing where to get the latest outage updates: customers can visit bchydro.com/outages from their mobile device for the most up-to-date information.
  • Understanding the dangers of electrical equipment: a downed or damaged power line should always be considered an emergency even if it is not smoking, sparking or making a buzzing sound. Always assume the line is live, stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a bus) and call 9-1-1 to report.

-With files from CHEK’s Ethan Morneau

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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