Power cut off raises ire of North Cowichan woman

B.C. Hydro says its a safety issue

Kandiss Dougan spent almost the entire first week of May in her home in North Cowichan without power.

She said her power was cut at exactly 3:30 p.m. on April 30 and as of the afternoon on May 4, it still hadn’t been turned back on.

Dougan said all of the food in her fridge and freezer has gone bad, and hundreds of dollars worth of medication for anemia that needs to be refrigerated, has also spoiled.

She said she has been paying her bills regularly with B.C. Hydro, who had removed the power meter from the side of her house, and efforts to find out why she was cut off and when she will be reconnected have taken up much of her week.

She was finally told by B.C. Hydro that she was cut off due to a safety issue, but said no specifics were provided, and could only be reconnected after she hired an electrician to do a full electrical report on her house, at her own expense.

That was done by the afternoon of May 4 and B.C. Hydro told her that she could be reconnected, but the utility was understaffed at the time so they were unsure when that could be done.

“I want my power on right now,” she said. “I’m fed up with this whole situation. I’ve just got out of hospital and am not allowed to drive right now and there’s no one to help me.”

B.C. Hydro spokesman Ted Olynyk said he can’t speak to specific cases due to privacy concerns.

But he said the utility only cuts off power to customers due to lack of payment of bills or for safety issues.

“Once those issues are dealt with, than the customers will be reconnected,” Olynyk said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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