Cascade effect knocks power out for most of Campbell River and Quadra Island

Nearly 20,000 BC Hydro customers were in the dark Thursday

Power in the Campbell River area went out this morning, knocking out electrical service for most residents of the city and Quadra Island.

“All circuits out of Campbell River substation lost power,” BC Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers said.

The total BC Hydro customers affected was 19,703, the “majority of Campbell River as well as Quadra Island,” Louwers said.

It was a “one circuit trip” that caused a cascading effect impacting all circuits out of the Campbell River substation, Louwers said. One circuit generally encompasses about 2,000 customers and usually when one goes, it’s the only one that does. That didn’t happen this time, though.

“What we continue to investigate is why all the other circuits were impacted as a result of the impact to that one circuit,” Louwers said, “and we don’t have that answer yet.”

It’s important to find that answer so that a recurrence can be prevented, Louwers said.

The power went out around 8:20 a.m. and was restored at 9:10 a.m. In between that time, the power came on and then went off again as much as three times as crews restored power but it didn’t hold.

The Campbell River substation on 7th Avenue is currently being upgraded and that meant crews were on the scene when the circuit tripped so they could work on it right away.

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