Someone sawing through two power poles and damaging a third in Port Coquitlam’s Gates Park put themselves, the public and BC Hydro work crews in danger, a spokesperson for the utility confirmed.
Early Tuesday, at about 4:30 am, BC Hydro received a report that the power was out for 4,500 homes in the area and when crews arrived and patrolled the area found two poles had been cut down with a chain saw, and a third pole was cut but remained held up by wires.
Along with overhead power lines being brought down, an underground line emerging on one of the poles was also severed, leaving 4,500 BC Hydro customers without power for nearly four hours while repairs were made.
“What’s really important to remember here is that electrical equipment is very dangerous. That’s why these types of incidents are so concerning,” said Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott.
It’s not known who did the damage or why, Coquitlam RCMP is investigating the incident.
“We haven’t made any arrests yet, we are working on it,” Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said.
Scott said the downed polls were inside the park near the Wilson Avenue entrance.
It’s not unusual for BC Hydro electrical equipment to be damaged to obtain copper wire, Scott said, but the motivation in this instance has not been confirmed.
A similar circumstance occurred in Surrey, when six transmission poles were cut down.
In order to repair the damage, three power poles had to be replaced with the downed power lines causing concern because they carry 12,000 volts each.
“This could have seriously injured or killed a member of the public or our crews as they worked to make repairs,” Scott noted.
BC Hydro crews made the area safe and restored power to customers around 8 am.