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Thousands of homes, businesses without power due to stormy weather

Last Updated Oct 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm PST

Map of BC Hydro power outages (Oct. 17, 2017) (Source: BC Hydro)

LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS 1130) – About 9,000 homes and businesses are without power across the Lower Mainland and on the Sunshine Coast due to the wet and windy weather.

Hundreds of BC Hydro customers in Maple Ridge, Langley, and Mission are without power. About 3,000 customers are affected in Chilliwack, Kent and Harrison Hot Springs, while a few hundred are without power in Surrey.

“We are all hands on deck right now, working to restore power as quickly as possible,” says Tanya Fish with BC Hydro.

At one point this morning, 28,000 customers were affected, including more than 5,000 in Abbotsford, 5,500 in Surrey and all of Bowen Island.

“We anticipate to have the majority of customers back by later this afternoon,” says Fish.

“High winds and rain are expected [later] today, so there’s the potential to have more outages occur,” she admits. “We continue to have crews out there, working throughout the day as needed to get power back.”

The causes of many of today’s outages are listed as “wires down” or “trees down,” while others remain listed as “under investigation.”

“We are seeing branches and trees come down onto our wires,” says Fish. “Crews want to remind customers the importance of being safe around electricity. If you do come across a downed line, stay back at least 10 metres — which is the length of a city bus — and call 9-1-1 to report the location. Always assume a downed line is live and dangerous — even if it isn’t sparking, smoking, or making a buzzing sound.”

Meanwhile, BC Ferries isn’t expecting any problems on its routes south of Nanaimo today.

“At this point, we don’t expect any service interruptions on our major routes,” says Deborah Marshall with BC Ferries. “We do want to warn people, however, there is another front coming in late tonight and tomorrow morning. We will be closely monitoring that situation. We’ll certainly let customers know if we have any service interruptions either today or tomorrow.

If a power outage is affecting the lights at an intersection, remember to use the four-way stop procedure.

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