A series of lightning strikes are likely the cause of widespread power outages early on Aug. 15 that closed some businesses and left many folks grumbling about missing their morning coffee.
BC Hydro representative Dave Mosure says lightning appears to have struck and ignited a power pole at Keene Road south of 100 Mile House, which left 2,254 customers without power beginning at 6:10 a.m. This outage affected much of the town and also extended to 93 Mile, Sheridan Lake, Lone Butte and 70 Mile House.
Firefighters from 100 Mile House Fire-Rescue were called out when witnesses reported the burning pole about 8:30 a.m., and the crew arrived shortly afterward to find a smoking, damaged pole.
Most customers had the power back on by 11:42 a.m., except for 50 residences in the 93 Mile area (near the pole-top fire), where the service was off until 3 p.m. Mosure notes those homes would have been in a smaller isolation point within which BC Hydro crews could perform repairs and replacements at the power pole.
BC Hydro recorded another weather-caused outage, also believed to be from lightning, that left power off for 2,876 customers located from just north of Exeter Station Road to 108 Mile Ranch from 1:51 a.m. to 4:54 a.m., Mosure says.
“We were tracking weather, there was lightning in the area and we did have customer reports of lightning, which would have tripped a re-closer.”
Mosure explains most of the outages in both cases, aside from the pole repairs, were simply a matter of crews attending and flipping the re-closer reset at each point of isolation, which is why the power came on in different increments.