Worst Vancouver Power Outages on Record Following Windstorm

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Image: Rod Raglin

Image: Rod Raglin

55,000 customers are still without power following the massive weekend storm that hit Metro Vancouver and the South Coast of B.C., at one point leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity.

Power outages continue in Surrey, Langley, Burnaby and Vancouver, and BC Hydro is aiming to have power restored to all areas sometime on Monday. Repair crews from all across the province have been brought in to help with the work.

BC Hydro says crews were able to restore power to another 100,000 customers, including in downtown Vancouver, overnight Sunday.

Power remains out at many intersections in Metro Vancouver and drivers are reminded to use the four-way stop procedure, which means treating all malfunctioning traffic lights as stop signs.

Environment Canada is warning more heavy rain is expected on Monday night as a cold front stalls over the region.

“The highest amounts will be over northern parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley near the mountains with up to a total of 50 mm expected. Amounts for Howe Sound may reach 80 mm,” said the Environment Canada alert.

Worst outages ever seen

An estimated 500,000 customers lost electricity after high winds knocked trees and branches down onto power lines on Saturday.

“It was unlike anything we have seen before,” said BC Hydro spokeswoman Simi Heer.

Vancouver’s deputy city manager, Sadhu Johnston, said it could take weeks to fully clean up after Saturday’s vicious windstorm. Johnston said the region’s severe drought likely played a factor in the high number of trees that were blown down.

Arborists have also said many trees came down in the wind because they still had all their summer leaves.

The BC Hydro website was only partially functional as of 6 a.m. PT Monday, but customers can get updates on Twitter from @bchydro or by calling 1-888-POWER-ON.

A spokesperson said the website crashed because of the high volume of users on Saturday and the company has been working all weekend to restore the service. Find out more via CBC News.

Last modified: August 31, 2015

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