Oct 17, 2012 / 7:58 am
Summerland residents and businesses were without power for several hours Tuesday after a large tree fell on a transmission line near Penticton.
FortisBC, the region's utility provider, began restoring power to parts of Summerland, Trout Creek, and West Bench at about 6:30 p.m., leaving and estimated 6,000 homes and stores without power for over seven hours.
An uprooted tree fell onto a transmission line at Sage Mesa Drive and Highway 97 near Penticton at about 11:15 a.m. earlier Tuesday following a wind storm that hit the Okanagan valley late Monday night.
"Through the day we worked on correcting the problem and removing the debris and making the area safe," said FortisBC spokesperson Tracy Tang Wednesday morning. "The strong winds caused that tree to fall on that powerline."
She said making the area safe for the public and workers, which can take an extended amount of time, is the company's first priority.
One Summerland man reports losing all his food due to the outage.
IGA, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Nestor's were all without power, forcing grocers to trek to either Penticton or Peachland.
"The store was closed from 11 o'clock for the rest of the day," said Colin Powell, IGA store manager. "The whole community of Summerland didn't have the opportunity to support their community, because all the retail stores were closed."
Powell said empoyees managed to salvage refrigerated and frozen foods, but the loss of customers over the seven hours impacted sales.
Summerland mayor Janice Perrino said no major incidents were reported as a result of the outage.
FortisBC did a good job responding to the outage but better communication was needed, Perrino said.
"It was hard to get the right information...one person is saying one thing, one person is saying another," she said of the city being given conflicting restoration times.
The City of Summerland plans to work with FortisBC to avoid a breakdown in communication in the future.
About 1,500 BC Hydro customers in West Kelowna and the Vernon area were without power Tuesday from two to seven hours, also due to trees knocked over onto power lines.
FortisBC reports customer service alerts through Twitter while BC Hydro makes alerts through its website as well as on Twitter.
Read more South Okanagan News
- Motorcycle crash kills one near Penticton May 12
- Rally to help Penticton children's festival May 10
- Nature festival returns to Okanagan May 10
- Dix praises Cannings in Summerland May 8
- Broken bones are part of toddler's life May 6