Extreme weather causing more power outages: BC Hydro

18 Novembre, 2018, 22:41 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • More extreme weather causing more power outages, BC Hydro report says

The Crown corporation says storms and extreme weather caused 265 per cent more power outages in 2017 than in 2013.

Despite a tripling in the number of storms that hits B.C. Hydro's operations, the amount of time customers have been left powerless and in the dark has remained "relatively stable", according to a new report.

Aquino says during adverse weather, almost 60 per cent of outages are caused by falling trees and branches - largely because B.C. has three times more trees per kilometre of transmission line than any other utility area in North America.

"The changes in the weather don't just change on how we're feeling, this is having great impact on the things we've built and for BC Hydro they announced that in the last five year that the number of weather-related events tripled". Despite the conditions, B.C. Hydro was able to restore power to 75 per cent of affected customers within 24 hours.

An uprooted tree in Vancouver on October 15, 2018.

New technology, a smart meter network, and constant preparation are helping with the process.

"We also have new mobile dispatch tools".

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It found that storms and other extreme weather have increasingly battered the province: A total of 323,000 customers were bit with outages in 2013, a figure that increased to 1.18 million in 2017.

"Despite the challenges faced by crews during these severe weather events, our customers aren't waiting longer to have their power restored", said Chris O'Riley, BC Hydro's President and Chief Operating Officer.

It says other advances in weather-forecasting models aid in more accurately predicting and tracking storms.

Over the course of three days, the storm caused 142,000 power outages and damaged more than 50 power poles and 391 spans of wire.

BC Hydro is recommending British Columbians prepare for the storms and power outages by having a well-stocked emergency kit on-hand.

More than a million customers lost power last year as BC Hydro responded to three times as many storms as it did a few years ago.

They are also reminding the public that if they come across a downed or damaged power line, assume the line is live, stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a city bus), and call 9-1-1 to report.

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