BC Hydro to shut off northwest BC power

Sept. 8 outage necessary to relocate power poles, lines

BC HYDRO is turning off power to thousands of people east of here Sept. 8 so it can move transmission towers and power lines.

The outage affecting people from Kitwanga to Telkwa in the Bukley Valley is necessary because spring 2012 runoff waters eroded the land around one of the towers on the banks of the Bulkley River, stranding the tower by creating a small island.

For emergency and maintenance access reasons, this not an acceptable situation,” says Dave Mosure from BC Hydro.

Crews immediately made the situation safe with temporary repairs to ensure the supply to the communities fed by this line.”

Crews since then have worked to set up permanent towers and are close to completion.

But that means turning off the power to safely move wires, said Mosure.

For safety reasons, this cannot be accomplished with the lines energized. These lines carry hundreds of thousands of volts. Accidents with any electrical current are serious, but at this level there’s no room for error,” he said.

The outage is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. and last until 6 p.m. and Sept. 8 was chosen after speaking to people in the communities.

As always, crews will work to restore service as quickly as safely possible. BC Hydro appreciates customers’ patience and understanding as crews work to make these necessary repairs to ensure the dependable supply of electricity,” said Mosure.

Because the outage will affect service stations along Hwy16 between the two communities, BC Hydro is warning travelers to be aware of the situation before leaving home.

And it’s telling people to limit the opening of fridges and freezers during the outage.

The tower stranded by high water is located below the recycling plant just outside of Smithers on the way to Telkwa.