BC Hydro’s outage map Wednesday morning showed hundreds without power in the north Slocan and Arrow Lakes.

Windstorm downs power lines across swath of West Kootenay

Hundreds still without power on Wednesday morning

More than a thousand people in the West Kootenay remained without electricity Wednesday morning after a powerful windstorm blew through the area last night.

The storm left hundreds of downed trees across roads and power lines from Creston to Nakusp.

Dozens of fallen trees lay scattered along Highway 3A between Nelson and Castlegar as well, and small branches and twigs littered the roadway.

Several roads in Pass Creek, a subdivision north of Castlegar, were blocked from downed trees. Emergency and hydro repair crews were out trying to remove the fallen trees in the morning.

At the peak of the storm, around 3 a.m., more than 2,100 customers were without power, said a BC Hydro community relations officer. By 9:30, about 1,370 remained without electricity, mostly in the northern Slocan Valley, Arrow Lakes, Trout Lake and the Lardeau area.

“It was quite the storm,” said Jennifer Walker-Larsen.

Crews and contractors were being brought in from other regions to help restore power to affected areas, said Walker-Larsen.

She says they hope to have service restored to the Arrow Lakes area around lunch today, though there’s no estimate on other areas yet.

SEE: BC Hydro Outage map

Cold front to blame

A weather forecaster from the Southeast Fire Centre says the storm was caused by a cold front moving through the area.

“The wind effects of cold fronts in winter usually remain confined to the mid-to-upper elevations,” says Jesse Ellis. “It’s quite common for ski hills and passes to see high winds during such an event, while us here in the valley bottoms don’t often see much.

“But with this one, we did.”

The winds were highest in the East Kootenay, where gusts reached up to 100 km/h in the Rocky Mountain Trench and Elk Valleys.

Ellis says weather stations in this area picked up gusts as high as 70 km/h near Grand Forks, to 40-50 km/h in the Nakusp area. He cautions, however, the numbers are affected by the placement of the stations, and winds could have been higher in some areas.

Avoid downed lines

If you come across a downed power line, stay back, says Walker-Larsen.

“Stay away the length of a city bus, because you have to assume they are energized,” she says. “And call 9-1-1.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


A tree blocks Pass Creek road near Goose Creek. Photo by Pam Malekow

Emergency crews monitor a power line downed by a fallen tree on Pass Creek Rd. Photo by Pam Malekow

Just Posted

Nelson police make drug bust in Railtown

Drugs, weapons and stolen property were among the items found

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Most Read