An RV became submerged in the swollen Coquihalla River in Hope, as heavy rains caused chaos on the highways around the town. (Facebook)

An RV became submerged in the swollen Coquihalla River in Hope, as heavy rains caused chaos on the highways around the town. (Facebook)

B.C. STORM: 5,500 Hope hydro customers without power as outage still under assessment

Chaos on highways hampering efforts to restore power to 6,000 customers in Hope area

It’s unclear how long the power will be out in the Hope area following BC Hydro equipment damage from a landslide.

The power flickered off and on throughout the town on Sunday afternoon, before most customers lost their power completely.

On Sunday night, BC Hydro posted a message to customers explaining the situation was due to the weather. Power was briefly restored to some customers. But by Monday morning, the power was out again.

“Last night, crews were successful in restoring the majority of customers in Hope and Spuzzum,” the message states. “Unfortunately another outage this morning is affecting customers in the same area. Crews are working to restore these customers as well as other outages caused from the heavy rain, flooding and landslides. Thanks for your patience, we’ll continue to provide updates as they become available.”

Without power, hundreds of people who were stranded in Hope due to highway closures from landslides were unable to get gas and other necessities.

The Grace Baptist Church offered up shelter, noting that they don’t have heat or power but that the doors were open.

Kyle Donaldson, spokesperson for BC Hydro, told The Standard that they believe one of the transmission lines is damaged.

“Our team worked through the night to come up with a contingency plan and by some miracle it worked and our crew managed to restore services to those 5,500 customers.”

But by morning, he said, that fell through and power was out once again. There are now about 6,000 customers without power in the Hope area, and no timeline for a fix.

“One of the things our crews need to do still is actually go in an assess the situation, but a lot of the area is blocked off right now with from landslides and MVAs.”

As of 9 a.m. this morning, BC Hydro was dealing with 29,000 customers without power in the region. With wind in the forecast this afternoon, they are preparing for that number to rise.

READ MORE: British Columbians warned to brace for further torrential rain, flooding through Monday


@CHWKcommunity
jessica.peters@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

B.C. Floods 2021BC FloodBreaking NewsSevere weather