Windstorm knocks out power in the valley

Winds reached more than 100 kilometres an hour over the weekend.

  • Jul. 25, 2012 4:00 p.m.

Home owners are still cleaning up after a massive windstorm swept through the valley Friday night.

At about 6:15 p.m. on Friday, July 20, a brief but destructive windstorm downed seemingly hundreds of trees, pulling down power lines and leaving some homes without power for days.

There are unconfirmed reports that winds reached 106 kilometres an hour.

According to Sally Masters, Community Relations for BC Hydro, at the peak of its aftermath, power was out to 20,000 properties in Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fernie, Sparwood and the surrounding areas. There were 3,000 customers affected in Fernie and 50 in Sparwood. Customers in Elkford were not affected at all.

“The severity of the storm caused considerable damage to power lines, hydro poles and other BC Hydro infrastructure,” said Masters. “The damage was widespread. Trees and other debris falling onto power lines and breaking hydro poles was the main cause for the power outages.”

Additional crews from the Okanagan and Invermere were dispatched to assist with restoration work in all of the areas, and some crews worked 16-hour days.

“Public and worker safety is our number one priority,” said Masters. “BC Hydro’s focus was to restore power to critical services first. Crews then worked to restore power to the largest amount of customers in the least amount of time, such as larger neighbourhoods and high density housing.”

By Sunday afternoon, BC Hydro was on its third day of work to restore power to 3,800 properties that were still experiencing an outage.

Many customers were unaware of how long they would be without power.

“BC Hydro tries to provide an accurate time estimation of when the power will be back on,” said Masters. “Sometimes we can bypass a problem and restore power sooner than expected. In other cases, the cause of the power outage may be difficult to locate or access so the repair may take longer than estimated.

“BC Hydro would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding.”

Masters said there were still “a handful” of customers in the Elk Valley without power Sunday night, but all had power returned by Monday morning.

Just as many properties were finally getting their power returned, a second windstorm, of less severity, swept through on Sunday night, leaving 700 customers in Fernie without power until Monday night.

“The power went out at approximately midnight and was restored at 12:15 p.m. Monday,” said Masters. “The cause of the outage was a damaged cross arm on a hydro pole.”

There are many downed power lines in the areas affected. BC Hydro would like to remind the public to keep at least 10 metres (33 feet) away from any power line or any object in contact with a power line. To report a downed power line or an object in contact with a power line, please call 1-888 POWERON  (1 888 769-3766).

 

Just Posted

Kootenay employers ready to meet job seekers at Black Press career fair

Dozens of companies will attend the event on Nov. 15 at the Ktunaxa Nation Building in Cranbrook

Woman taken to hospital after being found in Cranbrook park

RCMP say she may possibly be suffering from hypothermia

Youth strap on skates in memory of Hugh Twa

On Saturday, November 3, teams from around the Elk Valley and abroad… Continue reading

Gallery: 26 fighters face off in Judgement Night 2

On Saturday November 3, 26 fighters faced off against each other in… Continue reading

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read