Warming centre to open in Tofino as residents deal with water restrictions, power outages

Warming centre to open in Tofino as residents deal with water restrictions, power outages
Photo screenshot: District of Tofino/Instagram
The District of Tofino provides a Stage 4 Water Restrictions update. Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023.

Water restrictions implemented earlier in Tofino have been lifted and power has been restored to the region.

A Stage 4 Water Restriction was in effect locally due to the failure of two “critical” backup generators and to maintain fire flow for emergency purposes, according to the District of Tofino in a notice on its website.

The district says its reservoirs were dropping by two per cent every 30 minutes, prompting staff to issue an “urgent request” for residents to only use indoor water taps for drinking or sanitation purposes and to not use outdoor taps at all.

At 6:25 p.m., the district put out a notice saying the water restrictions were lifted and that water consumption can return to normal levels.

“The District of Tofino would like to thank staff, emergency crews, businesses, residents, and visitors for conserving water over the last 12 hours,” the notice says.

“Please remember to keep the sidewalk in front of your property clear of ice and snow, and drive with extra caution with changing road conditions.”

In Tofino, more than 2,300 people are without power, and in nearby Ucluelet, around 530 are impacted by outages, BC Hydro said around 10:30 a.m. It says the outages were caused by downed trees across hydro wires or snowfall.

Yet, residents of the Pacific Rim region have already been dealing with a loss of electricity. Around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, the hydro company took to Twitter saying an outage in Tofino was leaving thousands in the dark.

“A birds-eye view of the damage our crews are facing to restore power to customers in Tofino following heavy snowfall on Vancouver Island,” BC Hydro posted to Twitter Sunday morning.

Warming centre to combat the cold

The district says the Community Hall at 351 Arnet Rd. will be opened as a warming centre at noon Sunday and operate into the early evening, with access to power limited to staff use.

Environment Canada’s latest weather report says the Ucluelet and surrounding areas got about 32 centimetres of snow Saturday into Saturday night.

The weather agency’s forecast for Tofino calls for a mix of sun and cloud Sunday with a 60 per cent chance of showers and a risk of hail and thunderstorms. Winds are expected to gust up to 40 km/h with a high of 5 C and a low of 2 C.

READ ALSO: Snow cuts power to thousands on Vancouver Island: BC Hydro

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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