BC Hydro urges preparedness

A power outage on Sunday, Dec. 15 had most Fernie residents and businesses without power for more than five hours.

  • Dec. 19, 2013 8:00 p.m.

By Sara Moulton

Free Press Staff

A small fire at BC Hydro’s Fernie substation was the cause of a major power outage which disrupted services to over 5,000 residents on the weekend.

The outage began at 12:15 pm on Sunday, December 16 when passers-by noticed smoke emerging from the substation facility. It was later discovered that a small piece of equipment had caught fire. BC Hydro responded to the situation and power was restored to most properties by 5:30 pm.

The timing of the blackout coincided with Fernie Alpine Resort’s ‘Community Day’, which offered free lift tickets to local residents. With a large crowd on the mountain and lifts halted without warning, guests were stranded for up to 30 minutes while diesel generators were brought out.

Andy Cohen, the general manager at the resort, praised his staff for their fast action in clearing the lifts and announced that replacement tickets were available to those who had been at the mountain during the outage.

“I’m proud of my team for unloading the lifts as fast as possible; they did what they had to do and got everyone down safely,” said Cohen.

“Snow checks will be offered to anyone who was affected today.”

One such resident was Matt Frost, who has lived in Fernie for three years but due to work commitments has not purchased a lift pass this season. The community day was an opportunity for him to snowboard with friends without having to purchase a ticket for the day. Another local, Blair Forsyth, was on the Bear Chair at the time of the outage and had to wait while the lifts were run one-by-one to clear the passengers.

“I was on my way up to the Cedar Bowl when the lift just stopped. It took about half an hour before I finally made it to the top,” said Forsyth.

Although the incident was an unexpected one-off event, Diane Tammen from BC Hydro urged residents of the Elk Valley to be prepared for power outages, particularly during the winter season.

“Our website www.bchydro.com has information about preparing your house or business for an outage,” said Tammen, community relations manager for the East Kootenay region.

“BC Hydro responded as quickly as possible to the event, but in our climate, it is important for all residents to be ready to deal with an outage.”

 

Just Posted

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Rugby team bullish after tournament win

Elk Valley rugby union players have put in an admira-bull effort to… Continue reading

Some light at the end of the tunnel for driver examiner shortage

As Sparwood student readies petition, ICBC has two new examiners in training

Teens youngest members in Fernie SAR history

Desire to help drives Ben Nixon and Josh Goodison to volunteer

Bear sightings prompt call for community action

Elk Valley and South Country residents have been urged to take responsibility… Continue reading

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

COLUMN: Women’s breasts really aren’t that big a deal

A follow on some Princeton, B.C., students gained considerable exposure when they dropped their bras

Most Read