British Columbians woke up to massive power outages this morning as a fierce Pacific storm slammed into the west coast. I was woken up several times in the night by the gale force winds and our security system chirping as the electricity cut off and on. My husband got up around five am to check the weather channel on the TV. Sure enough, the screens were red with weather warnings. Before the third warning screen could be seen the power ceased.
Winds gusting to over 100k/h (60 mi/h) pushed over trees and felled electrical lines. Thousands in Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island were without power. Sustained winds of 80 k/h were not uncommon where I live.
Here’s a hats off to the BC Hydro workers who brave the stormy conditions and risk life and limb to bring us back onto the grid. Obviously at this time I have electricity once again coursing through the house. Our stoppage was only about six hours.
The wind right now seems to have abated somewhat. The storm was moving from west to east and in a northerly direction. Where I live on the east coast of Vancouver Island the punishing winds come off the Strait of Georgia from the south. We may have passed the worst of it by now.
Tomorrow another storm system is predicted for this region. High rainfall and snow in some areas are predicted. Tonight I’ll fill my water containers just in case of more power outages.
Many people who live in urban areas don’t realize how the loss of electrical function affects the rural household. One of the first things to be lost is running water. Rural people provide their own water supply and that relies on electrical pumps. Yes, we could go to the horse trough and scoop some out and have done it before. Not the best for the coffee pot though.
Another thing in the modern rural household that relies on electricity is sewage disposal. Regulations in BC require a two-stage tank system with pumping to a field. Yes, you guessed it, gravity isn’t good enough anymore. So even if you have saved water in your bathtub you’d better not put too much down the drain. You’ll soon have trouble with a capital T.
These inconveniences are minor in reality and remind me that Nature is all powerful and we had best prepare for the occasional temper tantrums from Mother Nature.