Starbucks in the Mall at Piccadilly was among those businesses and homes without power for an hour-and-a-quarter Saturday, July 27. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Starbucks in the Mall at Piccadilly was among those businesses and homes without power for an hour-and-a-quarter Saturday, July 27. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Underground cable sparks power outage in Salmon Arm

BC Hydro reports below-ground repairs related to July 27 problems more difficult to do

An underground cable was the culprit in a power outage that left places like the Mall at Piccadilly in the dark for more than an hour Saturday morning.

The power went off at 10:56 a.m. on July 27, reports Jen Walker-Larsen, community relations spokesperson for BC Hydro, and stayed off until 12:16 p.m.

At the mall, many people drove in, parked, tried the doors of their chosen store, noticed a ‘power outage’ sign, and left. When the lights came on, hopeful customers outside some stores waited for several more minutes as the tills were brought online.

Affected in total were more than 3,340 Hydro customers in an area ranging from just south of First Nations Road all the way past Yankee Flats Road.

“We have an underground cable that comes out of the substation there,” she explains, adding it failed and will need to be replaced. “It was an underground repair so it’s a little more complicated than above-ground. Wires on a pole are a bit more straightforward.”

Power for customers was then fed through another circuit off another line.

“We have redundancies in the system in most places, so typically we have another way to get power to them.”

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Although there were reports circulating that work on the highway west of town might have been responsible, Walker-Larsen emphasized the cause has not been determined.

She said there might be a brief planned outage when power is returned to the original circuit but, if so, the public will be notified.


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