Almost 2,000 people began 2020 in Cowichan without power. (screenshot)

Almost 2,000 people began 2020 in Cowichan without power. (screenshot)

UPDATE: Power out to 1,700 in Cowichan to start new year; Hydro bracing for Thursday storm

Most of the outages were highly localized

More than 1,700 BC Hydro customers in the Cowichan Valley woke up without power on New Year’s Day.

Most of the outages were highly localized, affecting fewer than five people each, but one larger outage took out power to 64 north of Bayne Road, south of Koksilah Road and east of Riverside Road. Crews were on the scene as of 9:28 a.m. on Jan. 1 and the outage was being attributed to a tree down across wires.

Other outages affected cutomers on Aros Road, Uphill Road, Kingburne Drive and Lakeside Road, after winds followed a rainstorm Tuesday.

BC Hydro was also warning Thursday that people should be braced for possible power outages as a large storm system was set to hit the Island that day.

“We anticipate this to be a large event, but at the end of the day it’s up to Mother Nature what happens,” said Olynyk on Thursday morning.

He said Hydro was opening up its “storm rooms” to ensure a coordinated response, and staff on vacation were being advised they might be called in.