A thunderstorm early Tuesday morning left many residents in Greater Trail and some of its surrounding communities in the dark.
Several thousand FortisBC customers reported outages due to “unusual” weather conditions and small pockets of customers were still experiencing problems by noon on Tuesday, according to FortisBC’s spokesperson Tracy Tang.
She added that FortisBC work crews made the necessary repairs to restore as many customers as possible and made the areas safe, but Tang said some customers were still being impacted by the conditions.
“We’re still working on some restorations in an area of Patterson and small sections in Castlegar, Creston, Fruitvale and Salmo,” Tang said.
She added most of the power was expected to be back on by late Tuesday afternoon.
“The situation is obviously fluid and we are working to get people restored as soon as possible.”
In addition, the storm also caused minor damage near Gyro Park.
“A big limb fell off of a tree in Gyro Park, across the road where it takes you into Sunningdale,” said Larry Abenante, the City of Trail public works manager. “I called a guy out to come down with a big payloader and push it out of the way through there.
“It was only closed momentarily because myself and a couple of others opened it up into one lane.”
It only took Abenante’s crew roughly 30 minutes to clean up twigs and debris, and open up a second traffic lane. Abenante was unaware of any other damage in the area.
But a local fire weather forecaster said the changes in weather patterns were a bit of an anomaly.
“It was very unusual to see a thunderstorm at this time of year,” said Chris Cowan, fire weather forecaster for the Southeast Fire Centre.
Cowan explained that the storms are created when cold air at higher elevations meets warm air at lower level. Those conditions are usually found during the summer months.
He added “a very sudden temperature drop in the upper atmosphere” caused Tuesday morning’s storm and accompanying winds.