West Kelowna  

Vandalism to BC Hydro transmission lines investigated by RCMP

RCMP investigate vandalism

BC Hydro has now repaired damage to one of its transmission lines that forced the complete shutdown of power in West Kelowna and Peachland Wednesday morning.

The line was vandalized and the damage was spotted during a visual inspection of the line. RCMP has taken over the file and is investigating the incident.

"Our focus is on restoring power and fixing the damage and we aren't investigators. So we'll leave that to the police, " said BC Hydro spokesperson Dag Sharman.

The planned outage started at 5 a.m. Wednesday and was restored at 5:45 a.m.

"It is frustrating for us, but really it's the community that pays the price because there are obviously all kinds of uses for power and for us to have to shut power off to safely do this work. That is just the result of somebody's vandalism is really unfortunate, and really unfair to the community," Sharman said

"We appreciate people's patience, but this is the sort of thing that just that people in West Kelowna in Peachland just shouldn't have to deal with."

The damage was done at the West Kelowna end of the 80-kilometre transmission line that connects Peachland and West Kelowna to the BC Hydro power grid at the substation in Merritt.

"It is the only line at this point that provides electricity to that part of the region. So it's a line that we really take excellent care of. And that's how we discovered this, it was a routine inspection, we regularly do inspections, and obviously maintenance on that line, we have a lot of eyes on it," Sharman says.

The investigation is now in the RCMP's hands. Sharman says the entire transmission line has been inspected and there are no other issues with the line at this time.

"It's definitely something that we take very seriously. And that's why we immediately involved the police," says Sharman, while declining to provide details on the nature of the vandalism.

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