Ninety BC Hydro crews are spending Christmas Day working to restore power to some 16,000 customers still in the dark on Tuesday after last week’s windstorm.
The utility has restored power to more than 600,000 customers since the storm hit on Thursday, but the sheer volume of trees felled and the remote location of some of the power outages have caused significant challenges for the Crown corporation.
Power outages as of 9 a.m., Dec. 25, 2018.
BC Hydro said it had 800 personnel on the ground including contract crews and workers from Alberta and the East Coast, who continue to work around the clock.
“Morale is really, really good on the team, we’ve received a lot of great feedback from our customers, as well as the community,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott.
“We just really appreciate everyone’s support as we continue to work through repairing all the damage.”
As of Monday afternoon, crews had made progress on clearing debris from the heavily affected Southern Gulf Islands.
The Ministry of Transportation said that by 4:15 p.m. roads were passable on 80 per cent or more of all of the major islands.
However, many customers remained without power, and Hydro crews were continuing to re-position on the islands Tuesday morning.
BC Hydro said its goal was to have power back on in all the town centres on the islands by noon on Tuesday, however many smaller outages were expected to remain.
In a statement posted to its website, BC Hydro said: “Thursday’s windstorm was one of the most severe storms [it] has experienced in years.”
The utility also acknowledged that while all available crews were working, “due to the extent of the damage in the hardest hit areas, it will take several more days to restore power for all customers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.”
You can see a can see up to date progress on power outages here.
-With file from Srushti Gangdev
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