Storm Outages Triple in Five Years, BC Hydro Reports

Brittany Webster

A new report from BC Hydro shows response to power outages in the event of a storm has tripled in five years. In 2017 outages reached just over one million customers, an increase of 265 percent since 2013.

Nearly 60 percent of all outages are caused by falling trees and extreme weather conditions, and BC Hydro spokesperson Kevin Aquino says the wildfires have played into to these numbers. "If we look into the North, wildfires are part of the adverse weathers that our crews and province are battling. There was a wildfire in late spring of 2016 and it caused power outages for more than 6,400 customers in the Peace region. The hardest hit regions were Fort Saint John, Smithers, Burns Lake and Fort Nelson."

Over 40 transmission structures were damaged in that fire.

Although the number of outages has increase, BC Hydro reports approximately 95 percent of customers have power restored within 24 hours.

BC Hydro is hoping the report will raise awareness of power safety and encourages residents to stock an emergency kit including first aid supplies, flashlights and batteries, and non-perishable foods and water.

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