Friday, November 28th-1.2°C
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More power woes

Update -- 10 a.m.

It was initially thought that Peachland would be the only community affected by today's power outage, but it now appears that some residents of West Kelowna have also been affected.

According to BCHydro there are 1,533 homes that went dark shortly before 10 a.m. Friday morning.

The affected homes are located north of Beach Avenue in Peachland, east of Highway 97C, and west of Gellatly Road.

The power is expected to be out until 6 p.m. Friday night, which coincides with what BCHydro referred to as a planned outage for Peachland today.


Update -- Nov. 28

With confirmation that the power will be turned off in Peachland today, comes word that the elementary school will not be open.

Staff will be reporting to the school on Friday morning to deal with any families that were not informed of the closure. And buses will be running on their normal schedule as all middle and secondary students will still be transported to their schools.

The weather forecast for Peachland is also calling for the temperature to hover around the freezing mark and winds gusting up to 33 kilometres per hour.


Original story -- Nov. 27

Residents of Peachland will have to endure another day without power.

A day after many residents endured about 24 hours without power, BC Hydro has informed the municipality it will be shutting off the power to the entire community at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

According to BC Hydro spokesman, Dag Sharman, the power will be cut in order to replace a pole damaged by Wednesday's storm.

The pole, ironically, is in West Kelowna near the Shannon Lake substation.

Sharman says the top arm of a pole was blown off during the storm.

Temporary repairs were made in order to restore power.

"They tried to re-energize that line...but they knew there was some significant damage to the infrastructure but they made temporary repairs and re-energized the line," says Sharman.

"When they did that it just didn't work. They did those repairs to get customers back on temporarily but they have to go back in tomorrow and replace that pole, the equipment on it and re-string the lines. That's a big construction project."

The outage is scheduled to last from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The municipality and the mayor have been informed.

This latest outage comes on the heels of the outage which began about 8 p.m. Tuesday and stretched to nearly 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The outage will affect about 5,000 customers which includes the entire municipality of Peachland as well as BC Hydro customers south of Peachland and north of Summerland.

Even though the affected pole is in West Kelowna, Sharman says no residents of West Kelowna will be affected.

Temperatures Friday are expected to reach a high of 5°C, however, Environment Canada says the mercury could slip to -3°C in the afternoon.

The Peachland Community Centre has a generator and officials say they will be open Friday for residents who wish to escape the cold or get a cup of coffee.



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Slush will freeze tomorrow

Local Environment Canada Meteorologist Doug Lundquist has a stern warning to clean the roads and sidewalks before the leftover snow freezes solid, starting tomorrow.

“Be prepared for some real cold (weather),” says Lundquist. “My big concern is that if you are in a neighbourhood that still has snow or junk on the roads or sidewalks, you need to clear the roads. It will freeze really quickly and if this slush freezes it will be ice cubes and that is not easy or safe to drive on.”

Lundquist says a cold snap warning has been issued for the Okanagan that could see temperatures dip below -10 degrees Celsius.

“We have a low pressure system that's gonna develop and move off into Alberta overnight tonight and tomorrow, which is going to leave nothing to stop the arctic air from moving down here,” explains Lundquist. “The arctic front will move through sometime Friday and the temperatures will really plummet.”

He does not believe this cold snap will last as long as the previous one that had wineries picking ice wine grapes at record early times.

“Already by the middle of next week we are getting a flow from the west and it looks to bring milder air which will bring us back to norms for this time of year which is about zero degrees,” says Lundquist.

As for snow predictions for the season to come, Lundquist says snow is nearly impossible to predict.

“Snow is not something we can predict reliably beyond a week. All we need is one storm like we had and it will be a completely different story,” explains Lundquist. “We can give you a prediction sometime for temperatures but for precipitation we really can't predict beyond a week."

He does say though that snow may be falling again by the end of next week.

“It would be a more typical snowfall amount for this time of year and it would be drier snow,” says Lundquist.



Cold snap on the way

Environment Canada is issuing a special weather statement for the Central, North and South Okanagan.

A cold snap is anticipated for Thursday and Friday, which will affect Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton.

According to Environment Canada cold Arctic air will push southward throughout Thursday across the Central Interior and make its way into the Columbia and Southwest Interior Thursday night or Friday morning.

Gusty winds and plummeting temperatures will accompany the Arctic air. Areas where temperatures remain below freezing will experience reduced visibilities in blowing snow.

In the south, where snow may have begun to melt, a flash freeze is expected and will cause wet surfaces to become icy and slippery in the Southern Interior Thursday night. Slippery highways, roads and walkways will make travel hazardous, consider altering travel plans, warns Environment Canada.

The cold air will continue on Friday producing similar conditions. The below seasonal temperatures are expected into next week.

For more information please check out Environment Canada.



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A place to warm up in Peachland

Peachland residents enduring a full day without power have a place to go if they want to warm up.

The Peachland Community Centre is equipped with a generator and will be open until 8 p.m.

Anyone wanting to get a cup of coffee or are looking for a place to warm up can drop into the Community Centre which is located off Beach Avenue on 6 Street.

The centre is normally open until 8 p.m., however, a decision will be made at that time as to whether to keep the centre open later if power has yet to be restored.



Big White makes it official

Big White will officially open Saturday.

The storm, which dumped several centimetres of snow on the valley bottom overnight, left about 43 centimetres of snow behind at Big White.

The hill now has a 61 centimetre base.

Big White had hoped to open Thursday in time for the US Thanksgiving, however, a lack of snow pushed the opening back until Saturday.

The hill will open at 8:45 a.m. with a limited number of runs, including:

  • Ridge Rocket High-Speed Quad Chair (limited runs open)
  • The Plaza Quad Chair (limited runs open)
  • Lara's Gondola (limited runs open)
  • Happy Valley Learning Area with two Magic carpets running
  • Ice Skating Rink at Happy Valley  (11:00am until 5:30pm)

Early Season conditions are in effect until further notice. Skiers and boarders are asked to stay on open runs only.

Lift tickets are half price on Saturday.



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