Gabriola and Mudge Island residents are expected to have power restored by the evening

Updated: Power to Gabriola, Mudge restored Thursday

NANAIMO – B.C. Hydro says all power restored to Gabriola Island and Mudge Island, Telus estimates Internet restored by weekend.

After an outage Tuesday night, Gabriola and Mudge islanders finally saw power restored Thursday afternoon, said B.C. Hydro.

B.C. Hydro suspects is was a barge with a tall crane that took out power lines at Dodd Narrows, between Nanaimo and Mudge Island Tuesday night, leaving 3,500 customers without power. Yesterday, Ted Olynyk, Hydro spokesman, had estimated that it could be up to 48 hours before power is restored, but restoration took place sooner.

Earlier Thursday, Jani Drew, Regional District of Nanaimo emergency coordinator said Telus had done work, getting rope across and Telus said it is working to restore service to about 400 Internet and 1,200 voice customers on Gabriola Island after the accident.

“Telus technicians are on the scene and will work around the clock to restore all services as soon as possible,” said Richard Gilhooley, Telus spokesman, in an e-mail.

“For safety reasons, a commercial power cable that was damaged during the same incident needs to be fixed before we can begin to repair our equipment. Because of this, and the extensive damage and challenging repair conditions, Telus currently anticipates all services will be restored by the weekend,” Gilhooley said.

The regional district is assisting with emergency communications. Cellphone service is spotty, Drew said.

“When that happens, we need to not take over the role of 911, because that’s not the Regional District of Nanaimo’s function or mandate, but we can certainly be there to see what the needs of citizens are and to try to connect them with the appropriate service,” said Drew.

Drew said the outage is a reminder to always be prepared for emergency.

“Other than people buying water at the stores, there’s no real emergencies or issues. It’s just a really good reminder for people. This is why you need to know your neighbours. This is why you need to be prepared. Winter’s coming,” said Drew.

Transport Canada Marine Safety and the Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident, said Capt. Edward Dahlgren, Nanaimo Port Authority harbour master.

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