BC Hydro working to restore power after snow storm causes outages

VANCOUVER — Most British Columbia hydro customers left in the dark after a round of snowstorms will likely see power restored by the end of the day, the province’s hydro provider said Saturday.

BC Hydro released a statement saying it “continues to make progress” in restoring power for customers in the Southern Interior of the province.

The Crown corporation said it’s still working to restore electricity after a New Year’s Eve snowstorm caused widespread power outages. Of the 160,000 customers who were initially affected, BC Hydro said roughly 1,100 were still without power on Saturday afternoon.

Those in the dark are located mostly in rural areas near Salmon Arm, Vernon and Nakusp, BC Hydro said.

Additional snowfall Friday evening caused more damage and prompted new outages for customers in the region, the utility said, adding more than 60 crews were working on repairs.

Customers in the communities of Sorrento, Sicamous south, Salmon Arm, Lardeau Valley and New Denver should regain power by Saturday evening, according to the corporation’s estimates.

Those in Johnsons Landing are estimated to see power restored by Sunday evening, while those in North Shore/Scotch Creek/Anglemont may have to wait until Monday.

“Due to poor road conditions and the extensive repair work that remains in difficult-to-access areas, customers in the hardest hit communities are being advised to prepare to potentially be without power through the weekend,” BC Hydro said.

BC Hydro said about 3,550 total customers are without power, adding the figure reflects both those recovering from the New Year’s Eve storm as well as those hit by later snowfalls and other outages.

By early Saturday evening, that figure dropped to just over 1,200, according to its online outage list.

Parts of the province remained under a snow warning on Saturday following winter storm, snowfall, wind and rain advisories for large chunks of the province the day before.