November 30, 2023

BC Hydro is warning British Columbians that more weather-related power outages than usual are possible this winter season due to the summer.

An extended drought season and record-breaking wildfire season have left many trees severely damaged.

BC Hydro said it has replaced more than 1,400 power poles and nearly 90 kilometres of power lines since May due to the wildfire season.

The weeks upon weeks of drought conditions within the province, along with wildfire damages, have led to damaged soil, roots, trees and vegetation, which elevates the risk of “significant power disruption” in the event of a windstorm, according to BC Hydro.

Click to play video: 'Investigation underway into province’s handling of Shuswap wildfires'

Investigation underway into province’s handling of Shuswap wildfires

“Long, dry stretches during the summer put local vegetation under stress,” said Susie Rieder, BC Hydro spokesperson.

Story continues below advertisement

“Trees weakened by drought and associated disease can be more susceptible to wind, and many of these trees still have leaves late in the season, making them increasingly susceptible to wind and adding weight from rain or snow.

“As storm season ramps up, a substantial number of dead and damaged trees and branches are expected to fall, contributing to power outages.”

BC Hydro officials and crews have been working year-round in its vegetation management program to try and mitigate these effects.

The company has also said its power generation system is still being affected at hydroelectric facilities in north and southeast B.C. due to lower-than-normal water levels.

BC Hydro is advising British Columbians to be prepared for outages by having an emergency kit, knowing what to do if a power line is downed or damaged near them and knowing where to get the latest info on outage updates.

More information can be found on BC Hydro’s website.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *