As many as 14,000 people were inconvenienced by the power outage over Tuesday night, but perhaps none more than a snowmobiler who needed the help of Prince George Search and Rescue when she became stranded in the Nukko Lake area northwest of the city.
After her sled became bogged down in the snow and then broke down when the 44-year-old woman tried to get the machine going again, she called 911 on her cellphone and then started following on foot another set of snowmobile tracks towards some lights.
"And when the power went out, she didn't have that reference point anymore," said Search and Rescue president Jeff Smedley.
She had called 911 at 9 p.m., about a half hour before power to 8,900 homes north of the Nechako River went out, and was not found until 3:30 a.m., about a half hour before B.C. Hydro =-restored service.
A further 5,000 in the city proper were impacted from 1:20 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. as nearby lines were shut down so a crew could safely replace a failed porcelain insulator at Ferry and Westwood with a glass one.
With her cellphone power wavering, she resorted to text messaging to keep in contact with searchers and use the compass she had with her, as well as the vehicle headlights she saw a couple of times, to relay her bearings.
But it was not an easy search.
"The wind was blowing, it was wide open fields and across the lake, so she was hiding in the trees until she could hear us come and that was the one time when we actually got her," Smedley said.
"We were following her tracks from where she walked away from her snowmobile but with the blowing snow and all, it was filling in her tracks and it was getting hard to tell what direction she was going in, so it worked out good that we got her when we did."
The woman was wearing snowmobile gear but was "totally soaked" when she was found about four kilometres away from the nearest road and had to be treated for hypothermia at hospital.
If the search had continued until daybreak, "I don't think we would've had as successful result as we did," Smedley added. "She was past the shivering stage."
The main lesson to be learned, said Smedley, is to refrain from snowmobiling alone. Carrying a global positioning system (GPS) and a spot beacon would also have helped, he said.
"I guess she lives out in that area and she's new to it and she just thought she'd go for a short ride in the afternoon," Smedley said. "Well, a short ride turned out [to be] a little longer."