The lights are still out for 1,498 households on the North Shore following a violent wind storm that ravaged the province’s South Coast, leaving thousands of residents without power.
BC Hydro said Wednesday morning more than 95,000 customers in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands had been plunged into darkness overnight, with power restored to more than 67,000 of those by 8 a.m.
The total outages throughout North and West Vancouver peaked at 3,666 at the height of the storm, said BC Hydro spokesperson Susie Reider.
“Our crews worked overnight and continue to work through the morning to restore power to those affected,” she said.
Reider said B.C’s particularly dry summer, combined with the onset of a stormy fall, ensured the damage was especially widespread.
“B.C. experienced one of its driest summers on record this year and drought during the summer put local vegetation under stress, making it more susceptible to wind,” she said.
“As storm season ramps up, a substantial number of dead and damaged trees and branches are expected to fall, contributing to power outages.”
Reider said BC Hydro prepares for storm season year round and has “stepped up” its vegetation management program in recent years in light of the drought and weather-related challenges.
“Crews perform regular maintenance work to help minimize the impact adverse weather can have on the electricity system,” she said.
North Vancouver joins Duncan, Ladysmith and Maple Ridge as the areas bearing the brunt of the storm, with around 28,000 households still without power as of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to BC Hydro.
The electric services company is advising residents to be prepared for further power outages throughout the fall and winter by preparing a 72-hour emergency supply kit.
Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.