BC Hydro plans emergency power outage in Ucluelet on Friday

The outage is not expected to impact Tofino or the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu.

Ucluelet and Millstream will be without power for roughly two hours Friday afternoon.

About 1,600 Hydro customers will be affected by an emergent planned power outage, which is expected to run from 2-3:30 p.m., on the south side of the peninsula. The outage is not expected to impact Tofino or the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu, according to BC Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers.

Louwers told the Westerly News that the outage is due to a power line problem spotted by crews earlier this week.

“Crews have discovered a power line that isn’t connected to the pole as it should be, so it poses a risk of failure that would result in an unplanned power outage, hence the short notice,” Louwers said.

She said Hydro tries to give a minimum notice of five business days for residents and 10 business days for commercial customers for any planned outages.

“This is certainly a short notice outage and it’s short notice for the reason that we want to get the work done to prevent an unplanned outage and an unplanned inconvenience to the community. We certainly apologize for the short notice, but it’s the emergent nature that didn’t allow us to provide the notification that we would normally provide,” she said.

She added the 2-3:30 p.m. outage times are approximate estimates and Hydro crews are confident they will be able to complete the work within that time-frame.

“We try and consider the impacts to the community with timing, we needed daylight hours to complete this work and we needed to do it quickly. We tried to minimize the impact to schools, so we scheduled it just after school got out,” she said. “And, we received some feedback that the sooner we could have it, the less impact we might have on some of the resorts with their check-in times. So, although there’s always going to be an impact when there is an outage, when possible, we do our best to try to minimize that impact to customers.”

Residents are reminded to unplug any sensitive electronics, like televisions and stereo equipment and Louwers said all Hydro users should turn off their electronic heating systems and other electric power draws so the system can come back on smoothly.

“Plugging into a surge protector is a good idea at all times,” she said. “What we’re also hoping customers do, in addition to having those sensitive electronics plugged into a surge protector, or power bar, is that they don’t cause a huge draw on the system when we bring the lights back on.”

She hopes residents use the afternoon outage as a refresher course on how to be prepared as winter’s storm season draws near.

“It’s almost December” she said. “We’re coming into storm season, so this is a good reminder for everybody to check their emergency preparedness kits and make sure they’re ready for those unplanned events that typically happen this time as well.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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