Home Sections Weather Impacts Cumulative heat impact contributes to more power outages

Cumulative heat impact contributes to more power outages

Repeat weather impacts on trees & soil can lead to more trees falling on lines.

tree, blowing, wind

Thursday November 2, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

On south Vancouver Island at mid-afternoon today there were 3,035 customers without power, across nine outages. The weather had been a bit windy with some rain today, but not significantly so. Skies brightened soon after.

In fact, BC Hydro Vancouver Island spokesperson Ted Olynyk says personnel patrolled the line and “didn’t find anything” (as to a cause). “It does happen”, said Olynyk who has been one of the island’s BC Hydro reps for many years.

power outage

Summer heat & drought leading to more fall & winter outages:

Due to the stress on trees during the heat dome in 2021 and the droughts of 2022 and 2023 (which essentially stretched through the two years), trees may have loosened their grip in the soil, and could be more vulnerable to wind and the impact of flooding.

Trees that fall onto power lines are a common cause of power outages which impact BC Hydro customers.

“Each storm is not isolated unto itself,” Olynyk told Island Social Trends today. Repeated stress on trees and the surrounding environment is usually cumulative.

“The number of calls and storms have been increasing over the years,” he said.

Loosened and weakened trees are less resilient to wind, water-logged soil and freezing temperatures as fall and winter weather takes hold.

Tree management:

Tree management is an ongoing undertaking by contractors for BC Hydro. The utility has vegetation coordinators and receive input from arborists.

district of metchosin