Outages keeping Hydro crews busy

BC Hydro crews remain on the job a day after heavy wind led to a wave of power outages throughout the Central Interior.

"Yesterday's strong winds have caused extensive damage in the region, causing a significant number of power outages," Hydro said in a posting on its website.

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"All available crews have been working around-the-clock and will continue repairs today to restore the remaining customers without power in Prince George and Summit Lake."

More than 30 outages adding up to more than 450 customers remained in play as of mid-morning Wednesday. That's down from more than 7,000 customers at its peak on Tuesday.

Updates can be found at www.bchydro.com/power-outages.

The storm, which delivered 48-km/h wind with gusts as high as 91 km/h according to Environment Canada, also kept Prince George Fire Rescue hopping.

From 1:15 p.m. to 4 p.m., firefighters responded to 19 storm-related calls, most of them to do with downed power lines.

"It's very unusual for us to get a January storm like this. This is usually a spring or fall event for us," PGFR Chief John Iverson said and added there are usually two or three events like Wednesday's each year.

Firefighters are called out to deal with any fires that may have broken out - there was just a small tree fire on Otway Road - and, if there is a significant hazard, such as a downed line near a building or busy street, "we'll leave a truck on scene until Hydro shows up."

A tree fallen over a line alongside Highway 16 West across from the Bon Voyage posed a particular safety concern, Iverson said.

"Our crews were going well, well into the evening last night doing standbys and assessments. It's just part of the work we do," Iverson said.

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