B.C. residents affected by windstorms to have power by New Year’s Eve

VANCOUVER — British Columbians will have electricity restored to affected areas by New Year’s Eve following Thursday’s windstorm, says an updated schedule from BC Hydro.

According to the schedule, Parker Island, which is a 160-hectare island in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, will be one of the last places to have its lights back on.

About 12,000 people in British Columbia were still without power on Christmas Day following the storm.

BC Hydro spokeswoman Mora Scott said it will be “several more days” before some people get electricity back.

Most of those without power are on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, she said.

“We have about 90 crews working on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands today,” Scott said. “The damage is really extensive though in the remaining areas and there are still hundreds of individual outages so it’s going to take some time to restore the power to everyone.”

Winds as high as 100 km/h ripped over southern B.C. on Thursday, toppling trees and snapping power lines, knocking out power to more than 600,000 customers.

The windstorm was the worst that BC Hydro has seen in 20 years and more than 800 field workers are working around the clock to repair the extensive damage, the statement said, adding that 300 power poles and 170 transformers were destroyed in the storm.

Crews from as far away as Atlantic Canada and Alberta have been brought in to lend a helping hand.

The hundreds of outages will require crews to attend to each of them individually to make repairs, including restringing hundreds of spans of lines, and replacing power poles and transformers.

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