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BC Hydro prepares for outages as freezing rain looms for Victoria

BC Hydro is asking customers to make a plan for extended outages and create an emergency kit
BC Hydro is expecting system damage thanks to a freezing rain forcast for Dec. 22 and Dec.23 (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

BC Hydro is preparing for the possibility of damage due to the severe winter weather expected across the province and is asking residents to do the same.

Greater Victoria is expected to receive even more snow, with the likelihood that it will turn to freezing rain over the course of the next few days, prompting BC Hydro to prepare for damage to their system.

After monitoring the weather, BC Hydro is working to take precautions to help restore power quickly in the event that ice from freezing rain builds up on trees and causes branches to fall on power lines and equipment, according to a press release.

BC Hydro said in the statement that this storm system has the potential to cause serious damage, poor viability and challenging road conditions.

“BC Hydro has been preparing for this event all week and has taken the necessary steps to ensure its crews can respond as quickly and safely as possible,” said Susie Rieder, BC Hydro spokesperson.

“All available BC Hydro crews, contractor crews, vegetation management crews and other support staff are on standby. However, road conditions are expected to be challenging – and visibility is expected to be poor at times – which may slow down the response times.”

The preparation comes as a recent report conducted by BC Hydro found that more customers are feeling the impacts of severe winter weather during the holiday season over the past five years.

BC Hydro suggests residents take precautions as well by creating an emergency preparedness kit, making a plan for extended outages and following a few guidelines.

Victoria residents should be prepared with water, flashlights, batteries and non-perishable goods that can last for at least 72 hours, according to BC Hydro.

Additionally, in the event of a downed power line, BC Hydro asks that you call 911 and stay at least 10 metres away.

“Icy road conditions also increase the potential for motor vehicle accidents involving electrical equipment,” the release states. “In the event of a motor vehicle accident involving electrical equipment, if it is determined safe, drivers should drive out from under the power line and away from the source of electricity. Drivers should travel at least 10 meters – the length of a bus – before stopping.”

To learn more about preparedness visit

READ MORE: Victoria breakwater off-limits, bus routes sporadic under winter storm warning


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