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Beavers, balloons and blunders

BC Hydro’s most memorable outages of 2017
BC Hydro crews responded to more than 17,800 power outages in 2017.

BC Hydro crews responded to more than 17,800 power outages in 2017.

As the year draws to a close, Hydro has compiled a list of the most memorable outages.


Mother Nature’s fury

·       Wildfires in the Central and Southern Interior over the summer left 61,000 customers without power, and caused damage to 490 power poles, 114 cross arms and 377 spans of wire.

·       Freezing rain and heavy, wet snow caused more than 360,000 customers in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to lose power over a six-day period last February.

Animal encounters

·       A beaver gnawed through a tree that fell on a power line, causing the community of Hixon in Northern B.C. to lose power.

·       A squirrel chewed through a piece of electrical equipment causing it to catch fire and 180 customers in Burnaby – including a local cheese factory – to lose power.

 Balloon blunders

·       Loose birthday party balloons contacted power lines leaving 800 customers in downtown Vancouver without power on a Friday evening.

·       Balloons used to promote a sale at a car dealership on Vancouver Island blew into a primary line, resulting in an outage to the surrounding area.

Risky business

·       Perpetrators cut down power poles with a chainsaw in Prince George to steal copper wire from a transformer.

·       A tanker ship was attempting to anchor and contacted an underground cable, resulting in an outage to 2,000 customers on the southern Gulf Islands.

 Outages can be unpredictable. That’s why BC Hydro encourages customers to be prepared for power outages by having a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a flashlight, extra batteries, first-aid kit, ready-to-eat non-perishable foods and bottled water.

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