BC Hydro expects power outages to continue Christmas Day in some areas

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BC Hydro is sending more crews to help restore power on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, as more than 24,000 customers are still without power.

The utility says it has 800 personnel working around the clock, but despite that, some people will still be without power for days.

« Unfortunately, we will have some customers out in the most severe hit areas through Christmas Day, » said Tanya Fish, spokesperson for BC Hydro.

A few hundred customers are still without power in the Hope and Pemberton areas, but they were expected to be back on the grid later Monday.

‘They’re working around the clock and they are working in challenging, often dangerous conditions,’ said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. (Michael Laviolette/Facebook)

As of noon PT Monday, BC Hydro said the following communities will likely be without power on Christmas Day:

  • Bamfield/West Bamfield/Nitinat
  • Thetis Island/Penelakut Island
  • Protection Island
  • Parker Island

Crews from other parts of the province, as well as Alberta and the East Coast, have also been brought in.

At the height of Thursday’s massive windstorm, almost 400,000 customers were without power.

One of the challenges for Hydro crews is the number of trees that have been downed and are blocking roads and side streets, making it difficult to access some neighbourhoods.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said it’s too early to say what the cleanup and response will cost, but repairing the damage will be expensive.

« What’s amazing is that you’ve got men and women who are giving up their Christmas holidays, » said Farnworth. « They’re working around the clock and they are working in challenging, often dangerous conditions. »

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