By Korie Marshall
BC Hydro says that trees cause more than half of the power outages in BC, and late December in the Robson Valley seemed to be no exception.
On Dec 18, a dead pine was blown down by strong winds, taking out power to 11 customers in the 17th Ave area of Valemount, blocking off the street for part of the morning while work crews removed the tree.
On Dec 19, an outage affected 94 customers on a few streets in McBride for about 11 hours. BC Hydro spokesperson Bob Gammer says the cause was suspected to be a “phase flat”, where wind or a release of snow causes wires to swing and momentarily contact each other, as no other sign of damage was found. Gammer says power was restored by noon that day.
From Dec 23 to Jan 3, a number outages affected the Mount Robson area. The area east of Tete Jaune experienced recurring heavy snowfall over the period, and several power outages were caused by heavily snow-laden trees and branches making contact with the power line serving 67 customers along Highway 16, says BC Hydro spokesperson Jen Walker-Larsen. Both line crew staff and arborists were deployed to the area to clear the trees and restore service. The latest outage in the area began early in the morning on Dec 29, and the majority of customers up to the Mount Robson Visitor Centre were restored in the evening of Dec 31. BC Hydro expected service to be restored to the few remaining customers east of the Visitor Centre by Jan 3rd at 4 pm.
BC Hydro reminds customers to call 1-888-POWERON or *HYDRO on their cell phone to report an outage, downed power line, or tree on a line. You can also check out information about trees and power lines on BC Hydro’s website.