If you think there have been more power outages in the Cariboo lately, you are right.
BC Hydro Spokesman Dave Mosure says the number of storm events they’ve responded to has almost tripled over the past five years, and he says that has led to more outages…
“Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of climate change, which leads to more damage to the electrical systems and outages for customers. The number of customer outages due to major storm events has increased by about 265 percent, so from 323 thousand customers in 2013, to 1.18 million in 2017 impacted.”
Mosure says falling trees and branches are the prime suspects behind the outages, and he says B.C. has three times more trees per kilometer of line than anywhere else in North America.
He says the combination of trees and adverse weather account for 60 percent of all outages.
Mosure says to combat all of this, BC Hydro has focused on preparing for storm season year round…
“We’re also using the smart meter network and introducing new technology and processes which includes, we’ve got enhanced prediction logic, which uses an algorithm and a smart meter network so we can confirm an outage, mark its location on a map and then get the dispatchers to send crews to investigate and make necessary repairs with greater accuracy than we ever could before. New mobile dispatch tools, which communicate via satellite and help information from the field, get to the operation centers faster and more often. This gives more timely updates to the customers.”
Mosure says they are also working with a meteorologist to get greater insight into where and when a storm might hit to ensure that crews are ready to respond quickly.