The Sasquatch sculpture in front of Kootenay Market on Columbia Avenue seems to have transformed after the snow Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. I’m sure artist Dale Lewis would approve of the addition. (John K. White/Castlegar News)

Snowstorm causes power outages in West Kootenay and Boundary

Tuesday night's snow storm has led to power outages throughout the West Kootenay and Boundary.

Tuesday night’s snow storm has led to power outages throughout the West Kootenay and Boundary.

Over 1280 households in the Christina Lake and Grand Forks area are being affected by a power outage caused by a tree that was downed during the storm, according to Diana Sorace, FortisBC corporate communications advisor.

“We’ve had a number of power outages and it’s due to the heavy snow in the area that’s taken a number of trees down right onto the lines,” she said. “So this morning we had an outage in Christina Lake area and Grand Forks at approximately 8:20 a.m. and it took out about 1284 customers.”

Sorace says crews — including crews brought in from Oliver to help — are working “quickly and safely” to restore power to those customers and it is expected to be restored by 1 p.m.

About 787 people in Trail also lost power Wednesday morning for about 15 minutes as FortisBC was removing a tree from a line.

Customers in Castlegar and the surrounding area also experienced outages over Tuesday night, but Sorace says all power should have been restored in the evening.

She confirmed that FortisBC crews work round the clock to restore power as quickly as possible.

“We recognize it’s an inconvenience for customers and we appreciate their patience, but we do have crews that work around the clock and as I mentioned before we do bring in additional crews in from other areas when we see this type of weather and the trees coming on the lines,” she says.

Sorace recommends that customers experiencing outages visit the FortisBC Outage Map at outages.fortisbc.com/Outages/Home/OutageMap and the FortisBC Twitter account at twitter.com/FortisBC for more information.

For more information on how to prepare for a power outage, visit fortisbc.com/Safety/EmergencyPreparedness/Pages/Power-outages.aspx.

January precipitation already above norm

As of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Castlegar had already received 88.4 millimeters of pricipitation in January — already over the 75.5 mm norm.

“We have exceeded that and there is more to come,” said to Ron Lakeman, weather forecaster at Southeast Fire Centre.

Tuesday Castlegar received about five centimeters of new snow before 4 p.m., according to Lakeman , and then between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. on Wednesday received another 21 cm.

“The snow should change over to rain at some point this afternoon,” Lakeman said around 9:54 a.m. on Wednesday. “Before that happens it is anywhere from another four to eight centimeters are possible.”

While it was a large snow fall, Lakeman said it wasn’t record-brekaing — the record for January is 44 cm of snow in one day.

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