A huge thank-you to BC Hydro.
The devastating windstorm on Dec. 20 was certainly a test of our mettle. In spite of trees breaking, branches whistling through the air like arrows and live wires twitching on the ground, repair crews worked tirelessly to restore power and normal life as we know it.
The mess left in the wake of that storm was/is mind-blowing. Roads were rendered impassible which exacerbated the repair effort but did not deter the repair crews. They soldiered on admirably.
The storm certainly identified some major problems with traffic flow, power grids and communications.
Island highways do not have enough alternate routes, emergency vehicles get caught up in gridlock, shopping centres have no power backup causing chaos, especially at this time of year.
But my personal beef is the lack of communication. Hydro’s automated service was not updated adequately nor was it easily accessed. When you are in the dark, calling from a dying cellphone, having to negotiate a complicated telephone tree only to receive inadequate information is extremely frustrating.
Trying to get information by radio was equally frustrating. Radio stations had reporters, once upon a time. Real people who did real reporting; now they have engineers who play canned music.
BC Hydro suggests their website is the way to get updates. Very difficult when you don’t have Wi-Fi. If one is able to access the website, one can look forward to a confusing map of outage locations but little or no restoration timeline information.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the Hydro restoration crews.
The frustration they must have felt, knowing where the damage was located and not being able to get access because the roads were blocked by downed trees. I feel badly for those who are still without power and I feel extremely lucky that our service was restored before the freezer thawed.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!