Operational update

BC Hydro crews working to restore power after windstorm hits South Coast

Dec. 30, 2018: 8 a.m. update

BC Hydro crews have restored power to over 700,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Dec. 20. Less than 100 customers remain without power on the southern Gulf Islands.

Due to the extensive damage on many of the southern Gulf Islands, BC Hydro will have all customers restored by Dec. 31 – and possibly as soon as today.

Many of the southern Gulf Islands were the hardest hit areas, and the storm damaged hundreds of power lines, poles, cross-arms and transformers, and left roads completely covered by trees and vegetation.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ continued patience as it works through repairs. Updated estimates for power restoration are posted as they become available at bchydro.com/outages

Expected power status for noon on Sunday, December 30

COMMUNITY STATUS OF RESTORATION AT 12PM
Salt Spring Island Pockets of outages
Galiano Island  Pockets of outages
Saturna Island  Pockets of outages
Parker Island Out
Bruce Peak / Musgrave Out


Estimate for complete restoration

COMMUNITY ESTIMATE FOR COMPLETE RESTORATION
Salt Spring Island December 30
Galiano Island December 30
Saturna Island December 29
Parker Island December 30
Bruce Peak December 30


Dec. 29, 2018: 7 a.m. update

BC Hydro crews have restored power to over 700,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Dec. 20. About 650 customers remain without power on the southern Gulf Islands.

Crews from Vancouver Island have been sent to the Gulf Islands to assist with restoration efforts, and more than 80 crews will be working there today.

Due to the extensive damage on many of the southern Gulf Islands, BC Hydro expects to have all customers restored by Dec. 31. Many of the southern Gulf Islands were the hardest hit areas, and the storm damaged hundreds of power lines, poles, cross-arms and transformers, and left roads completely covered by trees and vegetation.

Dec. 28, 2018: 7 a.m. update

BC Hydro crews have restored power to over 700,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Thursday. About 1,600 customers remain without power, primarily on the southern Gulf Islands.

The vast majority of remaining customers on Vancouver Island without power were restored yesterday. As a result, more crews from Vancouver Island will be sent to the Gulf Islands to assist with restoration efforts. There will be about 70 crews working on the Gulf Islands today.  

Due to the extensive damage on many of the southern Gulf Islands, BC Hydro expects to have all customers restored by Dec. 31. Many of the southern Gulf Islands were the hardest hit areas, and the storm damaged hundreds of power lines, poles, cross-arms and transformers, and left roads completely covered by trees and vegetation.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers' continued patience as it works through repairs. Updated estimates for power restoration are posted as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.
 

Dec. 27, 2018: 7 a.m. update

BC Hydro  crews have restored power to over 700,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Thursday. About 4,000 customers remain without power on Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands.

More than 900 field workers have been working around-the-clock to repair the extensive damage, including contractor crews from Alberta and the East Coast. The vast majority of customers on Vancouver Island will be restored today.

Due to the extensive damage on many of the southern Gulf Islands, customers will have their power restored between Dec. 27 and Dec. 31. Many of the southern Gulf Islands were the hardest hit areas, and the storm damaged hundreds of power lines, poles, cross-arms and transformers, and left roads completely covered by trees and vegetation.

A list of estimated complete restoration times can be found below:

COMMUNITY ESTIMATE FOR COMPLETE RESTORATION
Penelakut Island December 27
Mayne Island December 28
Pender Island December 28
Thetis Island December 28
Galiano Island December 29
Saturna Island December 29
Salt Spring Island December 30
Parker Island December 31
Bruce Peak December 31


Today, BC Hydro will have more than 30 crews working on the Gulf Islands – and more crews will be sent over as work wraps up on Vancouver Island. BC Hydro is using barges and water taxis to help move materials and more crews to the hardest hit areas.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ continued patience as it works through repairs. Updated estimates for power restoration are posted as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.

Dec. 26, 2018: 7 a.m. update

BC Hydro crews have restored power to over 700,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Thursday. While 99 per cent of customers have been restored, about 7,000 customers remain without power on Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. 

More than 900 field workers are working around-the-clock to repair the extensive damage, including contractor crews from Alberta and the East Coast. All customers on Vancouver Island are expected to be restored by Dec. 27.

Due to the extensive damage on many of the southern Gulf Islands, restoration will take longer as some parts of the distribution system must be completely rebuilt. BC Hydro expects all customers on the Gulf Islands will have their power restored between Dec. 27 and Dec. 31.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ continued patience as it works through repairs. Updated estimates for power restoration are posted as they become available at bchydro.com/outages, and a list of extended outages is available here.  

Dec. 25, 2018: 7 a.m. update

BC Hydro crews have restored power to over 600,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Thursday. About 12,000 customers remain without power on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands.

More than 800 field workers are working around-the-clock to repair the extensive damage. BC Hydro crews from the Interior as well contractor crews from Alberta and the East Coast have been brought in to assist.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ continued patience as it works through repairs. Updated estimates for power restoration are posted as they become available at bchydro.com/outages, and a list of extended outages is available here.  

Dec. 23, 2018: 8 a.m. update

BC Hydro crews continue to make good progress and have restored power to over 550,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Thursday. About 44,000 customers remain without power – including about 4,000 in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley and 40,000 on Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands.

More than 800 field personnel continue to work around-the-clock to repair the extensive damage to BC Hydro’s infrastructure after one of the most severe windstorms it has experienced in 20 years. Restoring remaining customers continues to be a challenge due to the extent of the damage. Hundreds of individual outages remain that crews have to attend to individually to make repairs, which includes restringing hundreds of spans of power lines, and replacing power poles and transformers.

Hundreds of downed trees have left some road impassable, which means BC Hydro has not been able to complete a full damage assessment in some of the worse hit areas like Duncan, Nanaimo, Lake Cowichan and the affected Gulf Islands. As a result, it will take crews days to restore power to these areas. In some rural parts of Surrey and the Fraser Valley, it may take another 24 to 36 hours to restore power.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ continued patience as it works to work through repairs. Updated estimates for power restoration are posted as they become available at bchydro.com/outages, and a list of extended outages is available here.

Dec. 22, 2018: 7 a.m. update

BC Hydro crews continue to make good progress and have restored power to over 530,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Thursday. About  66,000 customers across the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands remain without power.

More than 800 field personnel are working around-the-clock to repair  the extensive damage to BC Hydro’s infrastructure after one of the most severe windstorms it has experienced in 20 years.

Restoring remaining customers continues to be a challenge due to the extent of the of the damage. Hundreds of individual outages remain that  crews have to attend to individually to make repairs, which includes  restringing hundreds of spans of power lines, and replacing power poles
and transformers.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ continued patience as it works to work through repairs. Updated estimates for power restoration are  posted as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.

Dec. 21, 2018: 5 p.m. update

BC Hydro crews continue to make good progress and have restored power to more than 465,000 customers since the windstorm began Thursday morning. About 115,000 customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands remain without power.

Additional crews have been brought in from other parts of the province to assist with restoration efforts on Vancouver Island as it  was the hardest hit region.

BC Hydro will continue to prioritize repairs that pose a safety risk, such as downed power lines, and on making repairs to high-voltage  transmission lines and substations as this will bring the most customers back on as quickly as possible. Due to the extent of the damage, many customers will be without power for a second night – and for some  customers it may be days.

There continue to be reports of downed power lines. The public should assume a downed line is live and stay back at least 10 metres, and call 911 immediately.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ patience as repair work continues and will provide updated estimates for power restoration as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.

Dec. 21, 2018: 6 a.m. update

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.

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 hitregion. BC Hydro also plans to perform helicopter patrols to survey damage to its transmission infrastructure from the air.

BC Hydro will continue to prioritize repairs that pose a safety risk, such as downed power lines, and on making repairs to high-voltage transmission lines and substations as this will bring the most customers back on as quickly as possible.

There are reports of dozens of downed power lines. The public should assume a downed line is live and stay back at least 10 metres, and call  911 immediately.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ patience as repair work continues and will provide updated estimates for power restoration as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.

Dec. 20, 2018: 9 p.m. update

There are currently about 260,000 customers without power in the  Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and on Vancouver Island.

Since the windstorm hit earlier today, 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. This is one of the most severe storms BC Hydro has experienced in years.

There are more than 550 field staff working to restore power, and crews 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.

At this time, priority goes to 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.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ patience as repair work continues and will provide updated estimates for power restoration as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.

Dec. 20, 2018: 4 p.m. update

There are currently about 335,000 customers without power in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and on Vancouver Island.The hardest hit areas at this time include:

  • Surrey: 45,000 customers without power
  • Nanaimo: 36,000 customers without power
  • Victoria: 34,000 customers without power
  • Duncan: 30,000 customers without power
  • Abbotsford: 28,000 customers without power

BC Hydro crews are hard at work repairing the damage, and will continue to work around-the-clock until all customers are restored. Some customers  will be without power overnight.

There are reports of dozens of downed power lines. The public should assume a downed line is live and stay back at least 10 metres, and call  911 immediately.

Dec. 20, 2018

Strong winds have caused hundreds of individual power outages, affecting more 300,000 customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and on Vancouver Island. In the Lower Mainland, the hardest hit areas are Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford.

There is extensive damage from branches and trees breaking and coming into contact with BC Hydro's electrical equipment. Continued strong  winds have made damage assessment and repairs difficult, but where safe, crews are busy repairing damaged power lines, poles and transformers.
All available resources will work throughout the day and into the evening to safely restore power.

BC Hydro is also receiving reports of downed power lines. A downed power line is considered an emergency situation and members of the public should stay at least 10 metres back and call 911 immediately.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ patience as repair work continues and will provide updated estimates for power restoration as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.

For more information:

BC Hydro Media Relations

604 928 6468