Cowichan Lake escapes serious damage during storm

Cowichan Lake is still drying out after a series of storms late last week and

Cowichan Lake is still drying out after a series of storms late last week and over the weekend that caused some power outages but, by-and-large, could have been much worse according to official from the town and BC Hydro.

While many weather forecasts last week predicted the worst weather conditions for Saturday, Oct. 15, the Lake area experienced its most significant power outage Thursday night lasting until early Friday morning.

Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro’s manager for community relations for Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, confirmed that roughly 2,000 were without electricity that night due to downed power lines.

On Friday, there were outages in Youbou for the same reason.

“We had 12 spans of line down on Youbou Road. We had to bring in crews from Nanaimo and Victoria to help with that,” he said.

Caycuse was without power Friday night because the area is too remote for BC Hydro crews to attend to overnight, said Olynyk, adding that the company took steps to ensure maximum service to the Lake area on Friday and Saturday, which we were expected to be the worst days.

“We had crews staggered throughout the day, so that we we would have crews out 24/7. And it worked out well, because while there were some pockets of outages we were able to bring those customers on pretty quickly,” he said.

While rain was heavy and steady in Lake Cowichan all Saturday power stayed on.

In an email to the Gazette, Nagi Rizk, superintendent of public works and engineering services for the town of Lake Cowichan, confirmed that damage from the storm was minimal.

“We have seen worse over the years,” he said, noting that there were some trees that fell blocking roads. “Bad weather is always a challenge, we prepare as much as we can and hope for the best. The public is great, they are patient and they do their part.”

Olynyk echoed this sentiment, noting that the situation could have been much worse.

“We didn’t have as many outages as there could have been,” he said. “Based on the weather reports that we were receiving it could have been a lot worse. It just shows how things can change at the last minute with regards to the attack of a storm.”

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