In the wake of a devastating storm that caused flooding and landslides in southern B.C., BC Hydro is warning residents there’s more to come.
The electric utility released an update Nov. 24 anticipating power outages, as well as increased water inflow into South Coast and Vancouver Island reservoirs, as heavy rain and strong winds build up again this week.
These challenging conditions come with BC Hydro still recovering from the effects of the atmospheric river that swept over B.C. from Nov. 13 to 15. Notably, many of the utility’s reservoirs remain full in advance of more rainfall.
According to the update, inflows caused by the storm were some of the highest on record. As flood alerts went out to those impacted by high water levels, workers did their best to manage the release of overflow water and protect sensitive regions.
“In some basins, we are already starting with very full reservoirs and are anticipating additional rainfall,” BC Hydro president/CEO Chris O’Riley said in the release.
Parts of BC Hydro’s provincewide systems were also damaged in the storm, causing power outages across the affected regions. Work continues on restoring power in areas impacted by evacuation orders.
BC Hydro is still working to replace structures, power lines and wires in the province, notably along the Hwy. 8 corridor where 87 power poles and 14 transformers were destroyed.
“BC Hydro crews continue to assess the damage from the last week’s storms,” O’Riley added. “Costs are expected be in the millions and we are gearing up for more extreme weather.”
As more storms inch along the horizon, the company wants people to stay away from rivers with increased inflows and be prepared for power outages. In the event of fallen power lines, residents should stay at least 10 metres away.
Anyone interested in learning more can visit the BC Hydro website at bchydro.com/getprepared.
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