Power outage cancels events, leaves 4,000 in the dark

A tree on the line was to blame for the outage, which left about 3,800 people in the dark and cold

A noon-hour power outage in Lake Cowichan disrupted everything from a bantam hockey tournament, a curling event, a memorial service, a concert at the Legion, and a community dance on Saturday, Feb. 25.

A tree on the line was to blame for the outage, which left about 3,800 people in the dark and cold until anywhere from 7:45 p.m. to midnight, depending on where they lived.

Hydro crews, called out to work on the problem had to deal with a late-day snow shower as well.

Luckily, Sunday turned out to be a brilliantly sunny day, giving everyone a break before the next snowfall on Monday.

According to BC Hydro’s Ted Olynyk, manager of community relations, “The Cowichan Valley has been hit pretty hard. It just happens that way sometimes. This year, the snow is just farther south.”

BC Hydro has been “very aggressive” with trimming trees all up and down the Island this winter in an attempt to forestall problems, he said.

“And they’re all healthy trees, so you just don’t know what the cause is. We’re not cutting back a hundred feet. We’re just cutting back what we need to,” he said.

“Trees still may have a lot of vegetation that will hold the moisture when it rains into the snow, and then, when it gets frozen it gets even heavier and something breaks.”