Rapidly accumulating snowfall across Metro Vancouver has resulted in massive power outages across the region affecting thousands of people.
BC Hydro has been sharing updates on the outages on its Twitter account and on its outage page. As of 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 28), there are 4,317 customers without power in the Lower Mainland and on the Sunshine Coast.
A power outage affecting 1,742 customers in the South Vancouver area is currently "under investigation." Power has been off since 8:45 a.m. and crews were slated to arrive by 10:45 a.m.
While he can't confirm that the large outage is due to snow, BC Hydro spokesperson Kyle Donaldson tells V.I.A. that power outages are usually caused by trees making contact with power lines.
"Snow adds extra weight to trees which can sometimes cause them to make contact with power lines. Most power outages are caused by trees and adverse weather, including wind, rain, snow, and ice," he said.
Crews have been assigned to an outage in #Vancouver affecting 1,742 customers. They'll post updates here: https://t.co/odYJsmAsxh pic.twitter.com/MpIHMeIjpD— BC Hydro (@bchydro) February 28, 2023
There is also a smaller outage in Vancouver that is affecting under five people in the 3800 block of Osler Street that is under investigation.
The lion's share of Metro Vancouver's outages is in West Vancouver, where three outages have left 2,313 customers in the dark. The two biggest ones have been caused by downed wires from the heavy snowfall.
If you come across a downed power line, assume the line is live, stay at least 10 metres back and call 9-1-1.
"You should always assume a downed line is live, even if it’s not sparking, smoking, or making a buzzing sound. Emergency responders and BC Hydro crews will attend the scene and work together to make the area safe while repairs are made," Donaldson said.
"We have crews and contractors working today and really appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to restore service in impacted communities."
To report an outage, call 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) or *HYDRO (*49376) on your mobile or report it online.
Check BC Hydro's outage map for more information on updates.
Find more information about the snow warning in the Metro Vancouver weather forecast.