Thousands of homes in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area, especially in rural areas, were still without power this morning (Dec. 23), three days after a major wind storm blasted through Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
BC Hydro numbers show many in the region continue to wait for their power to be restored as the utility company has worked to deal with downed wires caused by wind and falling trees.
According to BC Hydro’s outage map, large swaths of Nanoose Bay, Errington, a portion of French Creek, Hilliers, Whiskey Creek, Coombs and Qualicum Bay are still without power.
The numbers of those without power due to individual outages range from 599 in the Whiskey Creek, Hilliers area, to less than five in some other rural and urban areas.
BC Hydro reported Sunday morning that crews continue to make progress and have restored power to over 550,000 customers since the windstorm hit. About 44,000 customers remain without power – including about 4,000 in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley and 40,000 on Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands.
More than 800 field personnel continue to work around-the-clock to repair the extensive damage to BC Hydro’s infrastructure after one of the most severe windstorms it has experienced in 20 years.
Restoring remaining customers continues to be a challenge due to the extent of the damage. Hundreds of individual outages remain that crews have to attend to individually to make repairs, which includes restringing hundreds of spans of power lines, and replacing power poles and transformers.
Hundreds of downed trees have left some road impassable, which means BC Hydro has not been able to complete a full damage assessment in some of the worse hit areas like Duncan, Nanaimo, Lake Cowichan and the affected Gulf Islands. As a result, it will take crews days to restore power to these areas.
For a full list, go to www.bchydro.com/power-outages/app/outage-list.html and click Vancouver Island, North.
For more photos, check out the PQB News Facebook album here: www.facebook.com/PQBNews
Via the City of Parksville: For Parksville-Qualicum Beach residents still without power following the windstorm earlier this week, the warming centre set up at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre (747 Jones Street, Qualicum Beach) will remain open Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, until 6 p.m. each day. Emergency Management Oceanside was advised today that BC Hydro expects many areas will have power restored by Christmas Day.
Hosted by Emergency Management Oceanside, Emergency Support Services volunteers will continue to provide support and information for those affected by the storm. Also available at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre for Parksville-Qualicum residents still without power is access to showers, the ability to charge mobile devices and a warm beverage.
The warming centre will be open, Sunday, December 23 until 6 p.m. and Monday, December 24 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Information on additional days for the warming centre should it be necessary will be updated.