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

Armstrong’s Jesse Crowe, shown at the home of golf, St. Andrew’s in Scotland, has been named the Royal York Golf Course’s director of golf operations. (Facebook photo)
Armstrong golf pro soars to home course position

Jesse Crowe becomes director of golf operations at Royal York Golf Course

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
Despite additional death, COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional loss in last day

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Two North Okanagan-Shuswap rural communities, including Lumby, will receive B.C. government grants to support new jobs and economic opportunities to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19. (Black Press file photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap communities collect government grants

Lumby and Blind Bay to benefit to help recover from economic impact of COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

The Penticton Speedway has been sold but the investment group who bought it is planning to create an enhanced racetrack and racing experience. (File photo)
Penticton Speedway sold and will remain a racetrack

Investment group that includes founder of Area 27 intends to buy the Speedway

Most Read