Black Press Media files

Itchy bears, rogue balloons and a nosy neighbour: B.C’s most memorable power outages of 2019

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

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

The utility aims to finish the year on a much quieter note than 2018, when one of the most damaging winter storms in recent memory set up the province, knocking out power to more than 75,000 customers for days.

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

Here’s a look at BC Hydro’s most memorable 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 was attempting to land when it hit a power line. Luckily, the balloon’s fabric tore free and passengers reached the 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 the drone hit a power line and knocked out power in the customer’s own home.

Dawson Creek: Beavers harvesting timber were the cause 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: A resident climbed a power pole and installed a security camera on top in an attempt to secretly record the neighbours. Crews were alerted and the camera was removed.

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

Vancouver’s north shore: More than 20,000 customers in North Vancouver and West Vancouver were left in the dark after powerful winds converged with a low pressure system to form a type of storm known as a “bomb cyclone.”

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 transmission towers for target practice, causing an outage that affected 170 customers and more than $60,000 in damage. Two similar incidents happened on Vancouver Island, near Coombs and Qualicum Beach.

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