Snow cuts power for thousands on Vancouver Island

Snow cuts power for thousands on Vancouver Island
BC Hydro outage map shows current power outages on Vancouver Island and B.C.'s mainland as of 8:45 a.m., Nov. 30, 2022.

Thousands are without power on Vancouver Island amid the aftermath of the first big fall snowstorm to hit British Columbia’s south coast.

Winter weather conditions, including heavy snow and wind, knocked out the electricity for homes and businesses across the Island from Port Hardy, past Campbell River and Nanaimo, all the way to Victoria.

As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, nearly 16,000 BC Hydro customers on the Island and Gulf Islands were still in the dark, while around 5,000 were still without power on B.C.’s mainland, according to the company.

Locally, an outage map shows people living in municipalities like Victoria, Saanich, Langford, Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Ucluelet, Qualicum Beach, Courtenay, Campbell River and Port Hardy are affected.

At the peak of the outages, more than 50,000 customers across the province were without power, but in an operational update early Wednesday, BC Hydro said its crews had since restored the electricity for around 30,000 overnight.

READ ALSO: Snow day: Island school districts announce Wednesday closures

Poor road conditions and ferry cancellations delayed hydro crews from getting the job done, according to Mora Scott, a BC Hydro spokesperson, in an operational update.

“However, all available BC Hydro crews and contractor crews will continue to work around the clock until all power has been restored,” said Scott.

“Snow adds weight to trees and branches and can result in them breaking and coming into contact with electrical equipment. Crews are busy replacing power lines, power poles and other electrical equipment.”

Scott says BC Hydro understands outages are disruptive and appreciates customers’ patience as crews work to access trouble spots as quickly as possible.

People can find the complete list of current outages, including on north and south Vancouver Island, and the mainland and Sunshine Coast, online here.

While Environment Canada has since lifted snow warnings for Vancouver Island, Mainroad North Island says a “snow weather event” is anticipated in areas spanning the Comox Valley to Port Hardy over the next 72 hours.

“Crews (are) patrolling and performing snow removal operations until event passes and roads are clear,” the road maintenance company said in a tweet around 7 a.m. Wednesday.


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