BC Hydro investigates cause, source of northern B.C. power outage

BC Hydro continues to investigate how a suspected lightning strike wiped out power to 124,000 customers across northern B.C. on Wednesday night.

The outages began around 9 p.m., plunging most everyone north of Clinton into the dark. 

article continues below

All power was restored by 11:30 p.m., and lightning is believed to be the cause. It's not known where the strike happened in the system.

"We are investigating how that lightning strike created this large blackout," said BC Hydro spokesman Bob Gammer. "That is the big question today, and that's the work for our engineers."

It's uncommon for a lightning strike to cause such a large power failure, Gammer said.

"We do get hit by lightning in our system on a regular basis," he said.

"Our protective equipment is designed to absorb those strikes and most of the time we don't see anything come of it. But here's an exception." 

Communities including Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Hudsons Hope, Prince George, Vanderhoof, Smithers, Houston and Burns Lake were affected. Fort Nelson was not affected as it's connected to the Alberta grid, Gammer said.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Alaska Highway News welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus
Sign Up for our Newsletter!

Popular News

Lowest Gas Prices in Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Fort St John, Tumbler Ridge
British Columbia Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com

Community Event Calendar

Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.