Wind whipped through Chilliwack early Wednesday morning causing damage and power outages to thousands of people.
Fallen trees and downed branches were scattered throughout the city knocking out power to more than 14,000 BC Hydro customers in Chilliwack on Jan. 13. As of 10 a.m., 8,200 customers were still without power.
The heavy winds left more than 200,000 BC Hydro customers without power throughout the province, including nearly 44,000 across the Lower Mainland.
In Chilliwack, a massive road sign on Highway 1 west of Evans Road was seen bent over but still attached to its posts as a result of the wind storm. Fences were toppled over, a trampoline was resting in a ditch on Chilliwack Central Road and a camping trailer had flipped upside-down in the driveway of property at the corner of Promontory and Chilliwack River roads.
As of 11:30 a.m., BC Hydro had restored power to 67 per cent of its customers impacted by windstorm.
“BC Hydro crews continue to make good progress and have restored power to more than 142,000 customers of the 212,000 customers impacted by the windstorm on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Lower Mainland and the Southern Interior,” the announcement read in part.
Around 70,000 customers remain without power, including about 30,000 in the Lower Mainland primarily in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.
“There is extensive damage caused by branches and trees breaking and coming into contact with BC Hydro’s electrical infrastructure. Planning through the night ensured all available BC Hydro crews and contractor crews have been mobilized. They will continue working around-the-clock to repair damaged power lines, poles and transformers to restore the power.”
Citizens are reminded that downed power lines are emergency situations, and they should stay at least 10 metres back and call 911.
“BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ patience as repair work continues and will provide updated estimates for power restoration as they become available at bchydro.com/outages.”
– with files from Patrick Penner