B.C. Hydro wraps up work on Gulf Islands

B.C. Hydro pulled its last emergency crews off Salt Spring Island and other southern Gulf Islands on Sunday after restoring power lost when a wind storm slammed the coast on Dec. 20.

Ted Olynyk, spokesman for B.C. Hydro, said repair work, with the exception of a few isolated cases, was wrapped up by Sunday afternoon.

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“We will have everybody whose power was out because of the storm, we will have them back up today,” said Olynyk in a telephone interview. “Mission accomplished.”

The wind storm slammed into Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands with gusts as high as 88 km/h. Branches, debris and entire trees smashed into power lines, disrupting power for more than 150,000 customers.

Olynyk said at the height of the repair effort, B.C. Hydro had 900 workers going 16 hours a day. Backing up crews from Vancouver Island were crews enlisted from the B.C. Interior, Alberta and as far away as the Maritimes.

At one point, B.C. Hydro had more than 350 trucks and their crews working on the Gulf Islands. 

“So our crews are now getting a chance to go home and spend Christmas with their families,” said Olynyk.

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