The first fall storm swept through Chilliwack this week, causing damage to BC Hydro infrastructure and knocking out power to local residents and about 140,000 hydro customers across the province. BC Hydro says it prepares for storm season year-round. Crews perform regular maintenance work to help minimize the impact bad weather can have on the electrical system. This includes inspecting trees growing near BC Hydro infrastructure to identify potential problems, replacing aging power poles and upgrading equipment to improve reliability.
Because it is difficult to predict how much damage a storm may cause to the system and how long a power outage will last, the company says it’s important for customers to be prepared for an outage by:
Having an emergency kit ready: kit should include a flashlight, extra batteries, first-aid kit, ready-to-eat non-perishable foods and bottled water.
Knowing where to get information and updates on an outage: customers can visit bchydro.com/outages from their mobile device for the most up-to-date information on an outage and estimated restoration times once available.
Understanding the dangers of damaged electrical equipment: a fallen power line should always be considered a danger even if it is not smoking, sparking or making a buzzing sound. Stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a bus) and call 911 immediately to report.