August 31, 2015 – Local 258 IBEW members working at BC Hydro, for private power line, utility arborist and traffic control companies, have been working feverishly since Saturday’s windstorm blew down trees and knocked out power all over the lower mainland and the Fraser Valley as one of the largest storms in the past 30 years swept the south coast leaving hundreds of thousands without power.
“Our members who have been called in by their employers have been providing critical services to help the public and our communities as we are working to restore electrical power,” says Doug McKay, Business Manager for Local 258 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “We’ve been working at a frantic pace to safely restore the power grid that was brought down in many communities as a result of the inclement weather. We’ve had our members working out there all weekend – day and night – in some pretty treacherous conditions as trees have brought down power lines everywhere. Our members working in traffic control and as utility arborists have been essential in helping keep the line crews safe in these very difficult working conditions.”
BC Hydro called in additional Power Line Technicians (Linemen) from across the province in an effort to meet the high demand of repair work needed after the storm, caused by gale winds clocked at up to 90 km/hr, knocked out power. Many communities are still without power as major repairs continue to take place.
Public complaints have focused on BC Hydro’s difficulties with their website being down since the storm began on Saturday afternoon and on frustrations of being without power.
“Our members are working as hard as they can to safely restore the power,” said Tony Brand, President of Local 258 IBEW. “We thank them for their professional response in difficult working conditions, and commend them for their safe work practices. We thank the public for the encouraging support for our members as they work in the damaged neighbourhoods from Squamish and the Sunshine coast to the far eastern Fraser Valley. We would also like to thank the members of the International Association of Fire Fighters at local fire departments who have responded and are also helping keep our members safe.”
Local 258 IBEW represents over 4200 members working in British Columbia’s electrical utility and associated industries.
The Province Newspaper: http://www.theprovince.com/news/vancouver/Hydro+calls+extra+crews+from+outside+Lower+Mainland+after/11328381/story.html
Vancouver Sun Photos: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Photos+Metro+Vancouver+storm+leaves+trails+destruction/11328236/story.html