Sunday December 25, 2011

Local News

Christmas Nearly Blown Away

Chilliwack Hydro crews save the day for thousands

Staff/Voice photos


A Chilliwack fireman stands by his truck which was used to block access to First Ave. on Sunday after strong gusts took down power lines all across the city.


ome turkey’s may not have gotten cooked on time when an unexpected and powerful squall came howling in from the southeast in the early afternoon hours Christmas Day. The big blow knocked out power to thousands of homes in the Abbotsford and Chilliwack areas.


BC Hydro Crews worked frantically trying to restore power in time for dinner to almost 4000 homes in Abbotsford, and another 3600 homes in the Chilliwack Vedder-Greendale area and most had the electricity back on by 5 P.M.


Environment Canada posted a wind warning for the coast but not for Chilliwack. The temperature soared to a balmy 9°C when the enormous squall hit with gusts up to 90 km/h in the Fraser Valley.


In eastern Chilliwack, a power pole was snapped-off and insulators broken on Hinkley Rd. and Wilson Rd. was completely blockaded leaving residents trapped in their homes due to reports of wires down and arcing.


Wires were also down on the road at First Ave. at Charles St. and Third Ave. at Williams St. and the fire department had the roads shut down.   


Other areas affected by outages were in the 42000 blk. Old Orchard, 43000 blk. Almeda, 6500 blk. Gillanders Rd. and the 7200 blk. Hinkley, 8800 blk. Walters, Industrial Way, 48000 blk McConnell Dr. and Camrose Ave. on Fairfield Island. 2035 homes were without power east of Victoria Ave. to Prest Rd. and just a few Chilliwack Lake Rd. and Marble Hill homes were also affected.


The Chilliwack River Valley was also hit with trees down and wires down. A tree fell between homes but damaged them in the 5900 block of Sappers Way. Homeowners quickly shut the gas off and needed hydro crews to ensure it was safe to turn it back on.


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