BC Hydro doesn't know what caused massive North Thompson power outage that is now restored

Massive outage is restored

UPDATE 7:36 p.m.

BC Hydro says it’s unsure what exactly caused the power outage that left 12k people without power Thursday afternoon.

“They do not know the source, it could have been anything from a small tree that just tripped a line to maybe a bird hit it but, we don't know,” said BC Hydro.

It says it was something minor, and everything was back up by 6:30 p.m.

Hydro says just before 3 p.m. Thursday, every community from Rayleigh to Valemount was without power.

It sent a helicopter up to look for the source of the outage by air. It got to Avola but no source was detected.

BC Hydro says it was able to re-energize everything south from Avola at around 5 p.m. The rest of the line was back on by about 6:30 p.m. because it was able to re-sectionalize it. Which means crews went and repowered the line, section by section.

UPDATE 7:00 p.m.

Power has been restored to most properties affected by the outage stretching from Kamloops to Valemount, according to BC Hydro.

Water restrictions remain in place for the District of Clearwater.

It says the restrictions will be in effect until the water reservoir is fully recharged and public works confirms normal use and operations can resume.

The district is asking people to continue using water for essential purposes only, Thursday evening.

UPDATE: 5:20 p.m.

The District of Clearwater has told its residents to stop all non-essential water use as a wide-spread power outage continues to impact thousands of North Thompson properties.

A notification issued by the district on Thursday evening said Clearwater is now subject to immediate emergency water restrictions.

“Stop all non-essential water use until further notice. Water levels have continued to drop in district reservoirs and will leave the district critically unable to maintain water for fire response,” the district said.

The district urged residents to inform neighbours, families and friends who may not have received the notification.

“Please conserve water for drinking and emergency fire fighting requirements. All outdoor watering is banned until the power returns and reservoir levels can return to sufficient levels.”

UPDATE: 3:57 p.m.

BC Hydro is sending out a helicopter to search for the issue that caused a massive power outage Thursday impacting more than 12,000 properties along the Yellowhead Highway corridor north of Kamloops.

A BC Hydro spokesperson told Castanet Kamloops there has been a circuit failure, but the cause of the failure is still unknown.

She said the helicopter will be taking off shortly.

“The heli patrol will be the fastest way to pinpoint where the problem is,” the spokesperson said.

Electricity went out for properties all the way from Heffley Creek just north of Kamloops to Valemount and McBride just before 3 p.m. on Thursday.


More than 12,000 properties stretching from Kamloops to Valemount are without power on Thursday afternoon, according to BC Hydro.

Electricity went out in areas along the Yellowhead Highway corridor between 2:50 p.m. and 3 p.m.

BC Hydro said the cause of the massive outage is due to a transmission circuit failure, and crews have been assigned.

Castanet Kamloops has reached out to BC Hydro to find out more information.

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