Beavers and balloons blamed for power outages in 2017

BC Hydro compiles a list of most memorable outages of last year

From beavers to balloons, to ships — BC Hydro is recounting the most memorable causes of power outages in 2017.

Crews responded to more than 17,800 outages last years with wildfires in the Central and Southern Interior topping the list.

RELATED: BC Hydro to give credit evacuees

Last summer 61,00 BC Hydro customers were in the dark as wildfires raged across the region damaging 490 power poles, 114 cross arms and 377 spans of wire.

RELATED: $90M spent million fighting B.C. wildfires since April 1

At number two it’s freezing rain and heavy, wet snow which caused more than 360,000 in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to lose power over a six-day period last February.

RELATED: B.C. braces for more snow

Other highlights include:

Animal encounters

  • A beaver gnawed a tree that fell on a power line, causing the community of Hixon in Northern B.C. to lose power.
  • A squirrel chewed through a piece of electrical equipment causing it to catch fire and 180 customers in Burnaby – including a local cheese factory – to lose power.

Balloon blunders

  • Loose birthday party balloons contacted power lines and caused an outage to 800 in downtown Vancouver on a Friday evening.
  • Balloons used to promote a sale at a car dealership on Vancouver Island blew into a primary line, resulting in an outage to the surrounding area.

Risky business

  • Perpetrators cut down power poles with a chainsaw in Prince George to steal copper wire from a transformer.
  • A tanker ship was attempting to anchor and contacted an underground cable, resulting in an outage to 2,000 customers on the southern Gulf Islands.

For more information, visit bchydro.com/outages.


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