High winds knock out power to thousands

Wild winds, combined with periods of heavy rain, smashed into the Cowichan Valley Wednesday and Thursday

Wild winds, combined with periods of heavy rain, smashed into the Cowichan Valley Wednesday and Thursday, downing power lines and leaving thousands of residents without electricity.

In Duncan, trees across lines have thrown pocket areas out of power for several days but the worst hit came on the morning of Thursday, Dec. 10 with a wide swath of the Valley hit about 6:30 a.m.

A busy Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro’s communications officer, took time out at mid-morning to say, “Duncan got hit quite hard. Originally we had about 8,000 customers out but now we’re down to less than 2,000.”

Most of the larger outages occurred about 6:30 a.m. Thursday but many people had power back within three hours.

Karla Louwers, another Hydro spokesperson, said, “yes, we are definitely experiencing a lot of outages on Vancouver Island. They are weather-related; this time, it’s been the winds that have been the problem.”

The timing of the outages was, in a way, fortunate, because workers were just marshalling.

“There’s never a good time for an outage, of course, but the outages began at what could be considered the ideal time as regards crews being at work and being ready to respond,” Louwers said.

She was unable to predict when everyone would get power back, and added that, with high winds still predicted for later in the day, there could be more power failures on the way.

“It’s always hard to put an accurate estimate on situations like this, because they change so much.”

Louwers reminds drivers that big winds mean trees and branches can come down, bringing power lines with them.

“It’s a good reminder, when you see a downed line, to always assume that it’s energized and always stay at least 10 metres back and dial 9-1-1,” she said.

Along with big parts of Duncan, North Cowichan, and the central parts of the Valley, there were also outages in Youbou, Meade Creek and Lake Cowichan that left more than 1,000 people without power Thursday.

Just Posted

Chemainus campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

VIDEO: Hold onto your funny bones: Ron James is back on the Island

He’s been called ‘a genius’, and ‘funniest man in Canada’. Find out why when he comes to town.

Malahat truck crash cleared but over 200 still without power

Hydro poles taken out in Monday afternoon crash

Controversial Chemainus building must be torn down

Weight of evidence from bylaw enforcement staff and police is enough for North Cowichan council

UPDATE with VIDEO: Home on Allenby Road suffers early morning fire

The fire department was first called to the scene at 6:30 a.m.

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million Lotto 6/49 prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Most Read