Some BC Hydro customers won’t get the power back before Christmas


WATCH: We have more on the fallout now from what B.C. Hydro’s calling the worst storm in 20 years. It’s been more than 48 hours since wind and rain pounded the Island, but tonight crews are still working overtime. Kendall Hanson reports.

Beverly Dawe is still in shock about how close of a call she had. At the height of the storm Thursday a giant tree smashed into her shed, trailer and three other trailers doing extensive damage.

She says the wind was extreme.

“I still don’t know how to describe the howling to you because it was like something I’ve never heard in my life,” said Dawe.

She and her young grandson were at home.

“I watched it come down,” said Dawe. “It shook the house and knocked all the pictures off inside.”

They fled the home. Another neighbour fled this trailer minutes before. Another in this home was awoken to the crash.

Damage can be seen all over central Vancouver Island. Many trees are down and across lines as the cleanup continues. In Chemainus three of the main roads out were closed Saturday. Many businesses and customers are still without power.

“I’m concerned for the older people and the stores. They can’t open,” said Dave Dunn, a Chemainus resident without power. “Chemainus seems to be left out, at this point, to us.”

B.C. Hydro says they’re working as quickly as they can but some involved in smaller outages will be without power for days yet.

“We still have about 50,000 customers out on the island,” said Ted Olynyk of B.C. Hydro. “Unfortunately there are some customers that won’t see their power restored when Christmas hits.”

Olynyk says among those are smaller outages in Bamfield, Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake and Gabriola Island.

B.C. Hydro says they’re giving priority to larger outages that will get the most customers online quickest.

Among the storm casualties is the Lady Cynthia which is an estimated 120-year-old rhododendron in Ladysmith. It’s also a tourist attraction.

“The reaction to me and the community is that we’ve lost something really special,” said Rob Johnson, a Ladysmith historian.

Part of the bush might survive. An assessment still needs to be done.

The damage from Thursday’s storm still being fully determined.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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