Snow and ice pound mid-to-north Vancouver Island, power outages still possible

Between 7-12 centimetres of snow fell in Comox overnight on Dec. 23, 2022.

Power was still being restored Friday evening to 1,668 customers in the Tofino area after about 4,000 customers on the west coast lost power due to a transmission circuit failure early Friday morning.

The lights went out at 12:53 a.m. and were turned back on for some by 5:30 p.m. Friday.

BC Hydro says more outages are possible in places hit hard by freezing rain.

“It can tend to be a bit of a slow burn so you see outages maybe happen today, tomorrow and potentially on Sunday so obviously it’s something crews are keeping a close eye on,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott.

Port Hardy experienced freezing rain from 5 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday leaving a layer of ice about a centimetre thick on cars and plants and everything else.

Farther south, about 12 centimetres of snow fell across the Comox Valley where the airport was open but most flights in and out were cancelled Friday on what would normally have been the busiest day of the year.

“The waiting room would be more than full so it’s disappointing, it’s disappointing for all the passengers who haven’t had their plans work out for Christmas,” said Comox Valley Airport operations manager Alex Robertson.

The main airlines, Air Canada and West Jet were busy trying to find other flights for passengers affected by the cancellations.

The first ferry sailings of the day between Powell River and Comox were also cancelled.

Highway maintenance contractors have a busy night ahead as crews deal with lingering snow, freezing rain and buckets of rain that are coming for the weekend.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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