The Free Press Editorial

Somehow, my apartment managed to escape from the mayhem caused by the recent storms.

Somehow, my apartment managed to escape from the mayhem caused by the recent storms.

I sat there, watching TV, making a nice hot cup of tea, with my lights on, fairly oblivious to the fact that so many people in the valley were sitting in darkness, hoping BC Hydro would get the lines fixed before all the food in their fridge and freezer was ruined.

It’s not exactly a surprise that so many of us rely so heavily on electricity. It always surprises me how quickly power goes out though and that there is no way of stopping this happening. But weather proofing all the power lines would mean putting them all underground. This is obviously a costly procedure, although I can’t help thinking it must be cheaper, in the long run, than sending crews out to work 15-hour shifts every time there is a thunderstorm.

The main cause of the power outages was trees falling on to power lines. Perhaps more time needs to be spent clearing lines and making sure no trees are close enough to fall on them during a storm?

People who have lived in the valley a long time tell me they don’t remember Fernie ever having such wild winds, but it seems like it is a fairly common thing these days, and we need to figure out a way to deal with it.

Of course, for now, the best course of action is just to be more prepared for power outages. How many people affected had candles at the ready? Or flashlights with charged batteries? Or a back up generator, ready to go? Thankfully, this power outage happened in the middle of summer, so people could stay in their houses. But if it happened in winter, where would you go? Have a plan of action, and look out for each other. You might be able to load up the car and head to your Mum and Dad’s place for a few nights, but what is your elderly neighbour going to do? It’s still July, there will be more thunderstorms before summer is over. Make sure you have a plan and everything you need for the next power outage, and also take the time ton check those around you are safe too.




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