On Christmas morning we awoke to find the house in total darkness and freezing cold. A guest arrived for breakfast expecting to be served our famous eggs benny. Instead, the best we could offer was cold fruit, cereal and muffins. We had to drive down to the local gas station to find some hot coffee. We felt sorry for other families in our Seymour Heights area who needed to serve an early Christmas dinner and have the turkey in the oven by mid-morning. They would have been very disappointed that, despite the best efforts of some very dedicated BC Hydro workers, the power couldn't be restored until lunch time.
In the greater scheme of things, a five-hour power outage isn't the end of the world. But what especially annoyed us was that this is the second time in less than five years that it's happened on Christmas Day in our neighbourhood. On the previous occasion, the apparent cause of the power outage was melting snow that had leaked into an old underground transformer box.
On this Christmas morning, however, there was no such weather-related problem. When we took the BC Hydro workers some hot coffee at 8 a.m., we were able to see inside the aboveground transformer box that they were dealing with. Everything was dry, but bare copper wire was visible at the point where an electrical explosion had occurred.
Later, we heard from a friend who works for BC Hydro, that after the Seymour Heights power outage in 2008, a report had been submitted to senior management by the repair crew, stating that much of the 40-year-old transformer equipment in our neighbourhood was long overdue for replacement. But nothing was done. Let's hope that after this latest Christmas power outage, BC Hydro's senior managers will stop acting like year-round Grinches and will make the money available to ensure that the Seymour Heights area of North Vancouver receives the upgraded electrical equipment that it needs.
Ron Knight, North Vancouver
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