Black Press Media files

Surrey drone operator behind one of BC Hydro’s most memorable power outages of 2019

BC Hydro releases its weirdest and wackiest power outages of the year

BC Hydro had a busy year, with its personnel responding to 50,000 trouble calls, and while many were the ordinary downed line or issue with a transformer box there were a few that workers will soon not forget.

From busy beavers harvesting timber for a dam – causing a few trees to collapse onto power lines – to a nosy neighbour who tried to install a security camera to a power pole, BC Hydro has released its most memorable outages of 2019.

Although not quite over, the utility company is close to finishing the year off on a much more quiet note than December last year when B.C. saw one of its most damaging winter storms in BC Hydro history which left more than 75,000 customers in the dark for a number of days.

ALSO READ: Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages

The utility company is also issuing a reminder to British Columbians to remain cautious around power lines, staying at least three metres away – or about the length of a four-door car. Anyone who comes across a downed or damages power line should stay at least 10 metres away and call 911.

Here’s a look at BC Hydro’s most memorable power outages:

Williams Lake: Ten customers were left without power after a bear used a pole as a scratching post. A similar incident occurred near Hope when an itchy bear rubbed against the side of a house and knocked the meter off the socket.

Vernon: A hot air balloon ride was landing when the balloon hit a power line. Luckily, the fabric of the balloon was able to tear free from the line and the passengers reached ground safely.

Surrey: A customer found out the hard way that flying a drone around power lines in a residential area was a bad idea after it hit a power line – causing a power outage in their own home.

Dawson Creek: Beavers harvesting timber for a dam were the culprits of an outage after the trees they were chewing on collapsed onto power lines. BC Hydro crews prevented a similar incident from happening in Hixon.

Vancouver Island: In an attempt to secretly record activities on a neighbouring property, a Vancouver Island resident climbed a power pole and installed a security camera atop it. BC Hydro crews were alerts and the camera was safely removed shortly after.

Clinton: A bald eagle caused chaos when it dropped its lunch – a Canadian goose – directly onto a power line.

Greater Vancouver: More than 20,000 customers in North Vancouver and West Vancouver left in the dark after a unique combination of weather events – including what meteorologists call a “bomb cyclone,” which is when wind converges within a low pressure system and starts to move in the same direction as the Earth’s rotation.

Richmond: A bundle of rogue balloons on New Year’s Eve hit power lines, resulting in 20 customers starting 2019 in the dark.

Stewart: Hunters used BC Hydro transmission towers for target practice – a decision that cause an outage impacting 170 customers and over $60,000 in damages. Two similar incidents happened on Vancouver Island – the first near Coombs and the second near Qualicum Beach.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

Routes he drove have not been disclosed

Surrey mayor denies property tax deferral motion

Councillor’s notice of motion for Surrey property taxes to be deferred until Dec. 2 out of order

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

COVID-19: B.C. reports 4 deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read