Surrey and Langley residents lead the list of B.C. Hydro customers still without power after major windstorm

Roughly 26,500 customers in Surrey and Langley still without power as of Monday morning

  • Aug. 31, 2015 7:00 a.m.

The wild windstorm Saturday took out trees and power across the Lower Mainland.

By Dan Fumano, The Province

VANCOUVER — Tens of thousands of Lower Mainland residents were still in the dark Monday morning, after two nights without power following Saturday’s windstorm.

In total, more than 530,000 B.C. Hydro customers had been impacted by the storm that produced Hydro’s largest service disruption in almost a decade, but most were back on line by Sunday.

About 400 workers were helping with restoration efforts, including at least 100 called in from outside the Lower Mainland, arriving from Vancouver Island, northern B.C. and the Interior to provide support.

Ten additional crews were arriving from Vancouver Island on Monday, said B.C. Hydro spokeswoman Simi Heer.

The majority of the 46,000 Hydro customers still without power Monday morning were in Surrey and Langley, where 26,500 were still off line, Heer said.

As of Monday morning, there were 8,700 customers still affected in Coquitlam and Maple Ridge, 6,300 in Vancouver and Burnaby, 3,800 in Abbotsford and Mission, and another 1,100 on the North Shore, said Heer.

The utility’s website had been unavailable for much of the weekend, causing frustration for many Lower Mainland residents who checked bchydro.com for updates.

Monday morning, Heer said Hydro was not yet encouraging customers to visit bchydro.com for updates. Instead, residents were advised to check news websites, radio, TV, or B.C. Hydro’s social media accounts, or phone *49376 on cell, or 1-888-769-3766 from a landline.

Across the Lower Mainland, businesses were dealing with fallout from the storm.

Storm damage forced the Surrey Night Market to close for the remainder of the year. Market organizer Garry Grewal said: “Whatever we had on site, it was totally devastated, including tents, plumbing, electrical work, vendors’ stuff, even our stage, our lights, everything went down.”

Grewal said it would likely be a week or more before they could estimate the cost of the damage, and added: “It’s a total, total loss for us.”

Monday morning, Fortis B.C. advised about 600 employees to stay home from their jobs at the natural gas provider’s Surrey operations centre, because of power outages. Essential operations at the Fleetwood facility were powered by a backup generator, said Fortis spokesman Michael Allison, and none of their customers were affected.

Looking ahead, Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald said the worst of the wind was over, but Lower Mainland residents could expect at least a couple of rainy days.

“That wicked storm that crossed the south coast on Saturday, that’s done with, that was an exceptional, historical storm,” MacDonald said.

With 20 to 40 millimetres of rain expected over Monday and Tuesday, flooding could now be a concern in some Lower Mainland municipalities, MacDonald said, adding: “The real issue here is that all the storm drains are now clogged with leaves and branches.”

The weather was expected to clear up by the weekend, MacDonald said, with sunshine forecast for Sunday, if not earlier.

dfumano@theprovince.com

Click here to read more stories by The Province.

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

Just Posted

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Survey suggests 83 per cent of Surreyites ‘favour a referendum’ on policing transition

Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the National Police Federation

Racist graffiti sparks Cloverdale man to renew calls for City to clean up street

Hate message the latest garbage dumped at the end of 176th Street

Brand new Tesla crashes into Surrey store front, mounts gas line

Driver was heading to the Autoplan store, straight off the lot

Surrey RCMP looking for missing 21-year-old

Police say Kenny Tran was last seen at around 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 19

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

New Alberta forward joins Vancouver Giants’ ranks

new left-handed 18-year-old is a familiar face to Giants head coach Michael Dyck

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Mugging with airsoft gun results in Langley school lockdown

Police found the weapon and a stolen phone later

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Chilliwack physiotherapist charged with sexual assault

Mounties urging other potential victims to make contact

Most Read