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Warming centre set up on Gabriola Island during rolling power outages

B.C. Hydro asking residents to try to conserve electricity
The Regional District of Nanaimo is advising Gabriola Island residents that a warming centre has been set up as the island is facing rolling power outages Monday, Dec. 5. (Photo submitted)

Gabriola Island residents are being asked to conserve electricity after power lines were damaged during last week’s snowstorm.

The Regional District of Nanaimo issued a public notice Sunday, Dec. 4, advising that a warming centre was set up on the island in advance of rolling power outages Monday, Dec. 5, until 10 p.m.

The RDN said B.C. Hydro has asked Gabriola customers to limit their electricity use to essential needs only.

“When the Telus line snapped during the last storm event, it damaged B.C. Hydro lines enough that it has been deemed unsafe to fully re-power Gabriola Island,” the RDN noted. “As a result, B.C. Hydro will only be able to restore power to sections of the island at a time. Power will be available for the village centre and critical services, but other parts of the island may experience intermittent outages of two hours.”

The warming station is set up at the Gabriola Fellowship Church at the corner of Church Street and North Road. Those needing a ride can contact GERTIE by calling 250-755-9289 or 250-247-9677.

Those needing cell service can try to connect in the lower parking lot at the GERTIE building at the old fire hall. People are asked not to park in the fire hall’s main parking lot or along Church Street.

“Until phone services are restored, residents are advised to ensure they have sufficient cash on hand for purchases where cashless payments are not available, as well as enough fuel in their vehicles, before travelling to Gabriola Island,” the RDN advised.

The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department notified residents last week that “a main communication line” to the island was broken in the storm, potentially affecting 911 service. Residents with emergencies are asked to try 911, then call 250-247-9677, and a third option is contacting the fire department via Facebook messenger. The duty officer can also be reached at 250-755-9289.

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