B.C. Hydro and tree service crews work on a section of Nanaimo River Road which suffered extensive damage to power lines when trees were toppled by powerful winds Thursday. CHRIS BUSH/ The News Bulletin

B.C. Hydro and tree service crews work on a section of Nanaimo River Road which suffered extensive damage to power lines when trees were toppled by powerful winds Thursday. CHRIS BUSH/ The News Bulletin

B.C. Hydro warns that ‘extended outages expected’

Utility says it’s still assessing damage in Nanaimo, Duncan and Lake Cowichan

The majority of B.C. customers who experienced power outages after Thursday’s wind storm have electricity again, but tens of thousands are still in the dark.

B.C. Hydro provided an update Saturday afternoon, saying 66,000 of the 600,000 customers on B.C.’s south coast impacted by the storm haven’t yet had power restored, and extended outages are expected in some places.

“Thursday’s wind storm was one of the most devastating storms B.C. Hydro has experienced in the past 20 years…” noted a press release from the utility. “Due to the extent of the damage, some of the hardest-hit areas will be without power for several more days.”

According to Hydro, some roads are impassable and a full damage assessment has not been done in “some of the worse-hit areas like Duncan, Nanaimo, Lake Cowichan and the affected Gulf Islands. As a result, it will take crews several days to restore power to these areas, and other areas may be added as damage assessments are completed.”

B.C. Hydro reiterated that crews are working “around the clock” and will continue to do so until all customers have power restored.

The utility says more than 800 field personnel are repairing 1,100 spans of wire, 300 power poles, 550 cross-arms and 170 transformers destroyed in the storm.

“I know any power outage is an inconvenience and can present challenges – and even more so at this time of year. On behalf of B.C. Hydro, I would like to thank our customers for their continued patience,” said Chris O’Riley, B.C. Hydro’s president and chief operating officer, in the release. “We are doing everything we can to get all of our customers back on.”

Customers can view maps and lists of outages, with information on where work crews have been assigned, at http://bchydro.com/outages.

RELATED: City opens community centre to those in Nanaimo needing to warm up

RELATED: City of Nanaimo asks residents to try to limit water use again today

RELATED: B.C. Hydro ‘working around the clock’ to restore power on Vancouver Island

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

Just Posted

The site of the former Arrowview Hotel, on Second Avenue and Athol Street, as of Jan. 14, 2020. (Elena Rardon/Black Press)
Port Alberni pressures owner of demolished hotel, Lantzville’s Pottie, for final cleanup

Demolition finished in June 2020 but site still full of construction material

Letter writers weigh in on the City of Nanaimo adopting ‘doughnut’ economics as a guiding principle for decision-making.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: City of Nanaimo’s ‘doughnut’ has to be more than empty calories

Letter writers react to city council’s recent decision to adopt ‘doughnut’ economic model

Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a car and a minivan Saturday afternoon at the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
One person taken to hospital after crash in north Nanaimo

Car and minivan collided Saturday at the intersection of the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive

Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization, a non-profit, seeks to raise $8,000 for a play structure to help children remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization asking for help fundraising for play structure

Physical activities have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, says non-profit

Police in Nanaimo hope to find the owner of a Giant Reign mountain bike that was seized after a man was spotted riding it without a helmet on the wrong side of the road on Christmas Eve. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP suspicious to find expensive bike covered in layer of duct tape

Police looking for owner of Giant Reign mountain bike that they believe was stolen

Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a car and a minivan Saturday afternoon at the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
One person taken to hospital after crash in north Nanaimo

Car and minivan collided Saturday at the intersection of the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive

Cyclists pick up swag and cycling trail maps at city Bike to Work Week ‘celebration station’ a few years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo’s active transportation plan will be about more than infrastructure

City working on goals to double walking trips and quintuple cycling and busing trips

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam at a press conference last year. (Canadian Press photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Better federal vaccine planning badly needed

Why hasn’t Parliament done more to protect seniors and care homes, asks letter writer

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Kinsmen Participark in Beban Park will be closed next week so city workers can remove dangerous trees and invasive plant species. The work is the start of an improvement project that includes replacing signs and fitness stations in the spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo fitness park to close for removal of hazard trees and invasive plants

Tree cutting to start in Beban Park’s Kinsmen Participark as part of improvement project

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read