A fallen fence in Ladysmith yesterday afternoon is a more ordinary example of the sort of widespread property damage caused across the Island by yesterday’s windstorm (Gerry Beltgens photo)

More than 90,000 remain without power on Vancouver Island

BC Hydro working around the clock in the wake of most severe windstorm in years

Much of Vancouver Island is waking to the cold and dark this morning in the aftermath of one of the most severe storms in years.

Nearly 90,000 customers remain without power as of 5 a.m. after high winds yesterday morning and afternoon cut through communities, knocking out power for more than 200,000 BC Hydro customers from Campbell River to Tofino to Sooke.

The coroner is investigating a death in Duncan that happened near the black bridge and is believed to be connected to the storm. Transportation was snarled both on land and on sea — including the closure of Highway 4 on either side of Port Alberni — and property damage was widespread.

It could be days before power returns for some.

“Yesterday’s windstorm was one of the most severe storms BC Hydro has experienced in years, causing extensive damage to electrical infrastructure across Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley,” states BC Hydro website.

“All available crews and resources will be working around the clock until all damage is repaired. Due to the extent of the damage, many customers will be without power overnight and for some customers it could be days. We appreciate your patience and will continue to provide updates as available.”

As of the storm’s peak yesterday afternoon, some of the hardest hit areas were Nanaimo (36,000 customers), Victoria (34,000 customers) and Duncan (30,000 customers without power)

RELATED: City of Nanaimo asks residents to conserve water after storm

RELATED: Thousands of BC Hydro customers without power in Greater Victoria

RELATED: Winds whip up havoc across Nanaimo region

RELATED: 28,000 to 29,000 without power in Cowichan Valley; more winds expected

“Crews made significant progress overnight and have restored power to 400,000 customers since the windstorm began Thursday morning. About 160,000 customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands remain without power.” said Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott in a 6 a.m. update

“Additional crews are being brought in from other parts of the province to assist with restoration efforts as severe damage remains. Crews are scheduled to be on the first ferries this morning to Vancouver Island, which remain the hardest hit region. BC Hydro also plans to perform helicopter patrols to survey damage to its transmission infrastructure from the air.”

As of 9 p.m. last night, BC Hydro was reporting about 260,000 customers without power in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and on Vancouver Island. That was after BC Hydro has safely restored power to more than 240,000 customers.

“Winds up to 100 kilometres an hour in some areas have resulted in damage to more than 750 spans of wire, 270 poles, 400 cross-arms and 150 transformers,” Scott said at the time.

“There are more than 550 field staff working to restore power, and crews will be working around-the-clock until all damage is repaired.”

Priority repairs include damage that presents an immediate danger like live wires across roads or near homes, as well as restoring circuits to critical services like hospitals.

From there, BC Hydro will make repairs to high-voltage transmission lines and substations as this will bring the most customers back as quickly as possible. For example, a circuit serving 5,000 customers will be restored before restoring a line that serves 50 customers.

This story will be updated throughout the day.

— with files from Black Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford pitches Westhills as Canadian Premier League soccer hub

Langford could host all eight teams for August matches

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

Person finds bag of drugs while out for walk in Langford

Police ask residents, drivers to check surveillance footage

Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

Transport Canada bans ships until end of October in response to COVID-19

Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Great Horned Owl found in Kings Park killed by three rodenticides

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read