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Downed tree responsible for day-long power outage in Upper Lonsdale

Wind caused the tree to knock over a power pole and transformer, BC Hydro says
A tree that knocked over a power pole lies across East 29th Street on Friday. | Andy Prest / North Shore News

Without power for a full day on Friday, a group of residents in North Vancouver felt left in the dark with limited means to update themselves on the outage.

Christina Kroecher had no internet or landline service starting at 8:15 a.m., she said, relying on sparing use of her cellphone to contact others for information.

According to BC Hydro, wind caused a large tree to come down near the intersection of St. Andrews and East 29th, leaving around 2,100 homes without power for 12 hours.

“The tree knocked down a power pole and a transformer, and pulled down more than 10 spans of wire (about a kilometre long),” spokesperson Susie Rieder said by email.

“Replacing a power pole is like a mini construction project, and can take anywhere from four to eight hours,” she said. “In this case, it took a bit longer than usual because the pole that came down was a specialized pole that had overhead switching gear attached. Switching gear is needed to reconfigure the power grid to provide alternate sources of power.”

Rieder thanked North Vancouver customers for their patience and understanding.

Kroecher, who lives within a few blocks of the downed pole, said she saw a reddish-orange ball of light through her curtains.

“I heard two big bangs as if someone hit a big bass drum: ‘bang’ and then ‘bang!’” she said.

As it gets dark around 4 p.m. now, Kroecher said she cooked dinner by candlelight on a wood stove – a one-pot steamed casserole with potatoes, beets, cabbage, celery, carrots, water and salt.

“It was delicious,” she said.

As she got ready for an early bedtime, the power came back on at around 8:15 p.m., Kroecher said, almost exactly 12 hours after it went out.

She was a bit anxious leaving the candles on for an extended period of time, and said she would be getting better, battery-powered supplies in preparation for future outages.

A downed power line is an emergency. If you see one, stay back at least 10 metres and call 911.

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