It’s going to be a challenging day for BC Hydro and Fortis crews after a powerful storm swept through the region overnight.
BC Hydro says 32 thousand customers in the Southern Interior are affected.
Twelve thousand of those are in the Okanagan.
The Shuswap also has several power failures
Much of the outages were caused by trees coming down on power lines, but lightning also knocked power out.
BC Hydro says there are a total of 71 different outages throughout the southern interior.
Because of the extent of work that needs to be done, it can’t give an estimated time of restoration.
It’s giving priority to areas with the largest number of customers affected as well as critical sites such as hospitals.
Contractors are being called in to help.
One large area of 3300 customers in West Kelowna has now been restored and hydro is working on another large area of more than 2100 people.
Meanwhile, motorists are advised to avoid Westside Roiad if possible.
There is a washout 2 kilometres north of Fintry that has the road down to single lane alternating traffic.
It’s also closed 12 kilometres north of the junction with Highway 97 South because of a tree on the road.
There has also been water pooling from Shelter Cove to the junction with Highway 97 North.
BC Hydro crews are busy trying to restore power to thousands of customers from Enderby down to West Kelowna and over to the Nakusp and New Denver areas after a powerful storm front moved through over night.
Downed trees brought down power lines in many areas.
No word of any homes hit.
Just after 6:30 am. BX firefighters were called to the 5900 block of Pleasant Valley Road where power lines were down on vehicles.
In West Kelowna more than 55 hundred BC Hydro customers remain without power with no estimate of when crews will get power restored.
Fortis advises the storm has affected its services in the North and South Okanagan as well as the Boundary area.
There are multiple outages in Kelowna, Oliver, Beaverdell and Carmi, mostly due to trees on the lines, including one on Gordon Ave in Kelowna, across from Dorothea Walker Elementary School.
Restoration times are not yet known, and customers may experience longer delays in areas with more extensive storm-related damage.
FortisBC has set up an area command centre in our Kelowna operations centre and will have all available crews, as well as a contractor crew, working to assess damage, safely remove trees and repair damage to the system.
Repairs may require other intermittent outages so crews can safely complete the work.
Westside Road is also affected between West Kelowna and Vernon with a number of closures due to power lines down and a complete closure both sides of Fintry.
Meanwhile, At approximately 2:45 AM the Kelowna Fire Department Dispatch center received several 911 calls reporting a bush/grass fire in the Belgo Road area.
Kelowna Fire department responded to the scene and discovered that the high winds had caused power lines to arch and started a fire in the grass below.
The fire was approximately 250′ X 25′ in size. Kelowna Fire crews were able to quickly contain the and extinguish the fire.
Power is out to thousands of people from Enderby down to West Kelowna because of a powerful storm that moved through in the middle of the night.
At last word, BC Hydro reports 13 thousand 364 customers without power.
More than six thousand of those are in of West Kelowna.
Vernon has more than 22 hundred in the dark.
Most other areas report pocket outages where just a few customers to a few dozen are without power.
Hydro has been able to restore power in a few areas, but it’s not able to give an estimate when other regions will be restored.
Much of the problem is due to power lines downed by trees blown over by the wind.
Fortis also reports some pocket outages in the City of Kelowna.