BC Hydro’s outage map Wednesday morning showed hundreds without power in the north Slocan and Arrow Lakes.

Windstorm downs power lines across swath of West Kootenay

Hundreds still without power on Wednesday morning

More than a thousand people in the West Kootenay remained without electricity Wednesday morning after a powerful windstorm blew through the area last night.

The storm left hundreds of downed trees across roads and power lines from Creston to Nakusp.

Dozens of fallen trees lay scattered along Highway 3A between Nelson and Castlegar as well, and small branches and twigs littered the roadway.

Several roads in Pass Creek, a subdivision north of Castlegar, were blocked from downed trees. Emergency and hydro repair crews were out trying to remove the fallen trees in the morning.

At the peak of the storm, around 3 a.m., more than 2,100 customers were without power, said a BC Hydro community relations officer. By 9:30, about 1,370 remained without electricity, mostly in the northern Slocan Valley, Arrow Lakes, Trout Lake and the Lardeau area.

“It was quite the storm,” said Jennifer Walker-Larsen.

Crews and contractors were being brought in from other regions to help restore power to affected areas, said Walker-Larsen.

She says they hope to have service restored to the Arrow Lakes area around lunch today, though there’s no estimate on other areas yet.

SEE: BC Hydro Outage map

Cold front to blame

A weather forecaster from the Southeast Fire Centre says the storm was caused by a cold front moving through the area.

“The wind effects of cold fronts in winter usually remain confined to the mid-to-upper elevations,” says Jesse Ellis. “It’s quite common for ski hills and passes to see high winds during such an event, while us here in the valley bottoms don’t often see much.

“But with this one, we did.”

The winds were highest in the East Kootenay, where gusts reached up to 100 km/h in the Rocky Mountain Trench and Elk Valleys.

Ellis says weather stations in this area picked up gusts as high as 70 km/h near Grand Forks, to 40-50 km/h in the Nakusp area. He cautions, however, the numbers are affected by the placement of the stations, and winds could have been higher in some areas.

Avoid downed lines

If you come across a downed power line, stay back, says Walker-Larsen.

“Stay away the length of a city bus, because you have to assume they are energized,” she says. “And call 9-1-1.”



reporter@rosslandnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

A tree blocks Pass Creek road near Goose Creek. Photo by Pam Malekow

Emergency crews monitor a power line downed by a fallen tree on Pass Creek Rd. Photo by Pam Malekow

Just Posted

Police apprehend Trail woman suspected of attempted armed robbery

The incident happened Wednesday night shortly before 10 p.m. in downtown Trail

Trail RCMP report on vandalism, an OD and theft

The first week of April was a busy one for the Trail and Greater District police

Opinion: Canadian emergency relief comes up short

MP Richard Cannings is serving his second term representing the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding

BC Housing enlists Nelson hotels, Kalein Centre for COVID-19 isolation spaces

The service is for people either at-risk of or currently homeless

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Schools re-open in Nelson and Creston, but only for children of front-line workers

School District 8 is providing on-site education for certain families during the pandemic

Most Read