Haida Gwaii residents urged to conserve power during B.C. cold snap

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Frigid weather stalled over most of British Columbia has prompted BC Hydro to issue a warning to Haida Gwaii residents urging them to conserve electricity.

The northwest coast archipelago is one of the few areas of B.C. not covered by Environment Canada's snowfall, extreme cold or Arctic outflow warnings, but the weather office says wind chill makes overnight low temperatures across Haida Gwaii feel close to -16 C.

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That is straining the island's two power grids, especially the south grid which provides power to nearly 2,000 customers in Sandspit, Queen Charlotte, Skidegate and Tlell.

In a message posted on the Haida Gwaii Emergency Notification System, BC Hydro warns it is experiencing very high power demand, "which could cause the system to overload and result in outages."

The message urges residents to turn off unnecessary items and to be smart about the amount of power that is being consumed by those appliances and devices that are being used, especially during peak hours around breakfast and dinner.

The Crown utility says conserving electricity will help it "maintain services to all customers and avoid potential delays in restoring power." (CKPG)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2020.

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