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)

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

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