Black Press Media files

Black Press Media files

Hot air balloon crash in Vernon makes BC Hydro’s most memorable power outages of 2019

BC Hydro releases its weirdest and wackiest power outages of the year

BC Hydro had a busy year, with its personnel responding to 50,000 trouble calls, and while many were the ordinary downed line or issue with a transformer box there were a few that workers will soon not forget.

From busy beavers harvesting timber for a dam – causing a few trees to collapse onto power lines – to a nosy neighbour who tried to install a security camera to a power pole, BC Hydro has released its most memorable outages of 2019.

Although not quite over, the utility company is close to finishing the year off on a much more quiet note than December last year when B.C. saw one of its most damaging winter storms in BC Hydro history which left ,ore than 75,000 customers in the dark for a number of days.

ALSO READ: Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages

The utility company is also issuing a reminder to British Columbians to remain cautious around power lines, staying at least three metres away – or about the length of a four-door car. Anyone who comes across a downed or damages power line should stay at least 10 metres away and call 911.

Here’s a look at BC Hydro’s most memorable power outages:

Williams Lake: Ten customers were left without power after a bear used a pole as a scratching post. A similar incident occurred near Hope when an itchy bear rubbed against the side of a house and knocked the meter off the socket.

Vernon: A hot air balloon ride was landing when the balloon hit a power line. Luckily, the fabric of the balloon was able to tear free from the line and the passengers reached ground safely.

Surrey: A customer found out the hard way that flying a drone around power lines in a residential area was a bad idea after it hit a power line – causing a power outage in their own home.

Dawson Creek: Beavers harvesting timber for a dam were the culprits of an outage after the trees they were chewing on collapsed onto power lines. BC Hydro crews prevented a similar incident from happening in Hixon.

Vancouver Island: In an attempt to secretly record activities on a neighbouring property, a Vancouver Island resident climbed a power pole and installed a security camera atop it. BC Hydro crews were alerts and the camera was safely removed shortly after.

Clinton: A bald eagle caused chaos when it dropped its lunch – a Canadian goose – directly onto a power line.

Greater Vancouver: More than 20,000 customers in North Vancouver and West Vancouver left in the dark after a unique combination of weather events – including what meteorologists call a “bomb cyclone,” which is when wind converges within a low pressure system and starts to move in the same direction as the Earth’s rotation.

Richmond: A bundle of rogue balloons on New Year’s Eve hit power lines, resulting in 20 customers starting 2019 in the dark.

Stewart: Hunters used BC Hydro transmission towers for target practice – a decision that cause an outage impacting 170 customers and over $60,000 in damages. Two similar incidents happened on Vancouver Island – the first near Coombs and the second near Qualicum Beach.

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

Just Posted

Members of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP paid tribute Saturday to Const. Marc Hovingh of the Ontario Provincial Police, who was killed in a shooting Nov. 19, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP honours fallen Ontario police officer

Const. Marc Hovingh was killed in a shooting on Manitoulin Island, Ont. on Nov. 19

The Armstrong Green Space Society is calling for the preservation of the Royal York Golf Course, which may be in jeopardy pending an application to use the land for a major housing development. (File photo)
Armstrong group calls on council to spare local golf course from housing development

The Armstrong Green Space Society was formed in 2019 after word of the development surfaced

Vicki Proulx, executive director of the Vernon Winter Carnival Society, stands beneath a lights display the society lit up in Spirit Square Nov. 27, by way of announcing it will be taking over the 2021 downtown light-up event. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon Winter Carnival Society lights up downtown square

The society announced it will be taking over next year’s downtown light-up event

Parents are urged to be on alert after a potential child abduction attempt took place near Armstrong Elementary School Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (amsas/neden photo)
Possible child abduction attempt at Armstrong Elementary School prompts warning

A letter from the school’s principal urges parents to be on high alert

A former Nanaimo investment advisor is accused of lying under oath to the B.C. Securities Commission. (Black Press file)
Vernon budget opens for public input

Draft financial plan includes 4.47% tax increase for 2021

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP issue warning after woman assaulted while walking in Kelowna

On Saturday, the unknown man ran up and grabbed her in an inappropriate manner before fleeing

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A West Cabs driver is being investigated for an incident which allegedly took place this week. (West Cabs)
West Kelowna cab driver under investigation after altercation over his lack of mask

Passenger alleges cab driver became confrontational when asked about wearing mask

Supt. Brian Hunter will be presenting first quarter RCMP stats to Penticton city council, tomorrow (April 21). (Phil McLachlan - Western News - File)
South Okanagan RCMP superintendent wants to set up dedicated prolific offender task force

Supt. Brian Hunter plans to use the additional officers city council approved for the force

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

(Pixabay)
‘We need to be empathetic’; Kelowna support worker speaks out after disabled individual denied haircut

Individual with severe autism denied service at a Kelowna hair salon for not wearing mask

The Interior Wildfire Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10-15 acres to house a rehab centre for injured and orphaned wildlife like deer and moose calves. (Black Press file photo)
Okanagan group look for property to house wildlife rehab centre

The Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10 acres for injured/orphaned animals

Most Read