Cowichan Valley one of windstorm’s hardest hit areas

Cowichan Valley one of windstorm’s hardest hit areas

All power expected to be restored by Dec. 27

As of the morning of Dec. 27, there were approximately 90 BC Hydro customers still without power in the Cowichan Valley.

Ted Olynyk, a spokesman for BC Hydro, said it was expected that those customers, mostly in the Cobble Hill and Shawnigan Lake areas and some other smaller pockets, would have their power back on by the end of the day.

Overall, approximately 30,000 BC Hydro customers in the Cowichan Valley area lost their power in last week’s windstorm.

“The Cowichan Valley was one of the hardest hit areas in the province,” Olynyk said.

“We had 120 crew members working around-the-clock to restore power on the Island through Christmas, with many field workers coming from all over the province, Alberta and even as far away as New Brunswick to help out. We’re hoping to have everyone who lost power in the province get it back by New Year’s.”

RELATED STORY: POWER OUTAGES STILL PLAGUING COWICHAN

Olynyk said BC Hydro is asking anyone who is still without power to phone 1-800-BC Hydro to assure they are on the list to have their power restored.

“Many just assume someone else has called to report their power outrage, and it’s hard for BC Hydro to determine who is still without power using meter information alone,” he said.

The storm that struck the Island and the Lower Mainland on Dec. 20 was one of the most severe storms BC Hydro has experienced in years, packing winds that gusted to more than 120 kilometres an hour in parts of the Cowichan Valley.

The storm knocked out power to more than 700,000 BC Hydro customers overall, closing businesses and creating havoc on the roads due to downed trees and branches, as well as blacking out traffic lights leading to long delays as drivers had to treat intersections as four-way stops, even on major highways.

Warming centres were established throughout the Valley for those without power soon after the storm abated.

As of the morning of Dec. 27, about 4,000 customers remained without power on Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands.

According to a press release from BC Hydro, due to the extensive damage on many of the southern Gulf Islands, customers there will have their power restored between Dec. 27 and Dec. 31.

RELATED STORY: SALTSPRING ISLAND MAN’S VIDEO SHOWS WINDSTORM’S HARD HIT

“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,” according to the release.

“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.”

Several roads in North Cowichan were also closed in the aftermath of the storm and municipal work crews have been working hard to clear the debris and reopen them.

North Cowichan spokeswoman Natasha Horsman said on Thursday that recovery efforts from the storm in the municipality are going well.

“Our work crews are doing everything they can as far as possible to clear and open roads, but they can’t touch power lines that are down so they have to wait for BC Hydro crews to be available to deal with those situations,” she said.

“We’ve been prioritizing these locations with BC Hydro and have been working to complete the clean up from the storm on a day to day basis.”

As of Thursday morning, Saltspring Road in Genoa Bay and Adelaide Street in Crofton were still closed, as well as a few other, smaller roads that the municipality is still confirming.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Logan Rands pokes the puck away from Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Talon Duff. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Offence sags as Cowichan Capitals reach midway mark

Caps score one goal in three games as pod season continues

BCYP Minister for the Southern Interior, Aislinn Dressler of Fernie said the Youth Parliament being virtual was a great way to learn about how the BC Parliament was operating. (Photo contributed by Aislinn Dressler)
Applications open for Islands Youth Parliament

Applications must be received by April 23

Someone used this counterfeit $50 to pay for items at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store in downtown Duncan in April 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan businesses warned of counterfeit cash

Fake $50 passed at Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, says the municipality’s fire halls have responded to more fires than usual this spring. (File photo)
Dry weather, wind leads to more brushfires this spring in North Cowichan

‘Be safe. Be fire smart. Be situationally aware.’

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Victoria police are looking for a 38-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted and choked a missing 15-year-old victim in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
15-year-old choked in Beacon Hill tent, Victoria police assaulted while intervening

Police searching for 38-year-old suspect, two officers injured in altercation with park residents

Most Read