Fallen branch takes out power lines causing outage in Nanoose Bay

Nearly 800 homes affected

A fallen branch took out seven spans of power lines in Nanoose Bay on the last day of the long weekend.

BC Hydro crews responded to a power outage that affected 773 customers in the Nanoose Bay area from 11:50 a.m. to 8:31 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 2.

Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro Community Relations Manager for Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, says that Hydro called in further emergency crews to deal with a fire hazard.

“The fire department was called as it was believed the tree was smoking. Crews attended and dealt with it. We originally had close to 800 customers out, but later they were able to bring the number down to just 140,” said Olynyk.

READ MORE: ‘Sour outage’ beer commemorates B.C.’s big power outage

Strong wind is normally the culprit behind limbs breaking off trees and affecting power outages.

However, this wasn’t the case on Monday. Olynyk says that BC Hydro suspects the branch fell due to something called sudden limb drop.

“In essence, when there’s been a long period of little rain, some branches on a tree will just die out and they’ll dry out. When it rains, the tree wants to re-hydrate the leaves, but then you have the weight of the leaves, and the water in the branch, and it’s too much weight for it,” said Olynyk.

Commentators online posted that traffic was moving slowly through the area, with reports of single-lane traffic moving through Nanoose Bay on Highway 19.

emily.vance@pqbnews.com

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