Storm knocks out power

Power was knocked out across a large region of the B.C. southern interior Wednesday evening, including 900 homes in the Greater Trail area.

Power was knocked out across a large region of the B.C. southern interior Wednesday evening, including 900 homes in the Greater Trail area.

Widespread reports of electrical outages began to flood FortisBC’s call centre in Kelowna at about 4 p.m., according to the company’s spokesperson David Wylie.

Service to most of the Okanagan city was restored within the hour.

However, as the intense storm rolled southeast through Grand Forks and then to Trail, 4,000 Kootenay Boundary customers were left in the dusk.

“We had the majority of customers restored in Kelowna by 5 p.m.,” said Wylie. “But that same weather system continued through the Kootenays and hit with first reports of outages at about 6:30 p.m.”

Strong winds were the cause of the majority of power losses, he continued, adding that FortisBC crews were working at multiple sites throughout the night, removing downed trees before restoring service.

He said about 1,700 Castlegar customers, 500 homes in the Genelle area and 1,000 in Slocan, lost power but service was restored to most of those homes between 8p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

“We have a really reliable system but when a big storm rolls through this is unavoidable,” Wylie added. “But we are available at all hours every day of the week to get power restored and when these storms come up, we are ready.”