The general manager of Nelson Hydro says his crews are scrambling to repair what he describes as unprecedented damage to their system.
Scott Spencer told the Nelson Star the wind storm Wednesday morning tore down dozens of poles and left kilometres of power lines on the ground on the North Shore from Nelson all the way to Coffee Creek north of Ainsworth.
“We are dealing not only with a major task of rebuilding our transmission line, but also addressing the individual needs of customers or communities or subsections of our distribution network that have been impacted,” Spencer said Thursday.
“So trying to prioritize those is one of the biggest challenges I think Nelson Hydro has faced in quite some time.”
The City of Nelson announced Thursday that although some areas such as Harrop and Procter would have power restored by the end of the day, other areas such as Balfour to Coffee Creek will not likely have the lights back on until Sunday.
Spencer said Nelson Hydro has received additional lineman and equipment from Summerland and Penticton, where he said the storm did minimal damage. Castlegar’s Martech Electrical Systems has also provided crews.
Typically Nelson Hydro would have help from BC Hydro and Fortis, but Spencer said those crews are overwhelmed with repairs in their own areas.
A Fortis statement Thursday morning said outages still affect under 3,600 customers in Crawford Bay, Kaslo and Ainsworth areas, while about 300 customers in Pass Creek are also without power.
Most of those homes, Fortis said, should have power restored by Thursday afternoon.
Spencer said he knows residents are anxious to have their electricity back.
“We recognize that there are going to be some customers that are impacted over multiple days and we’re trying to prioritize those as best as possible to get the maximum number of people back on as quickly as we can,” he said.
To report a downed line or for updates, call the Nelson Hydro Outage Line at 1-877-324-9376.
Here’s a list of estimated dates for power restoration, according to the City of Nelson:
Perrier Road. Power has been restored.
Queens Bay townsite, a crew is currently onsite as of 3 p.m. Friday.
Bing Road, a crew is currently onsite as of 3 p.m. Friday.
Bonaventure mobile home park, a crew is currently onsite as of 3 p.m. Friday.
MacGregor Road. The line work is completed and most of the power has been restored but a few homes will remain without power until one more transformer is replaced and the lines can be energized. The crew will continue to work to restore power by end of day Friday.
Keniris Road. the secondary tap at the transformer requires repair. Crews are currently working in this area as of Friday at 3 p.m.
Mountain Station. Maple Leaf Utility Crews will begin work at 9 a.m. Friday to restore power and be completed by the end of the day. Machinery will also be on site for clearing of debris.
Svoboda Road crews have been notified that some homes are without power.
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