Power to the North Island was cut for nearly 12 hours last week after a vandal shot out an insulator at the Keogh substation near the junction of Hwy. 19 and Hwy. 30.

Hydro outage a shot in the dark

The power outage that left the North Island dark for nearly 12 hours last week was caused by vandalism, a BC Hydro spokesman said.

PORT HARDY—The power outage that left the North Island dark for nearly 12 hours last week was caused by vandalism, a BC Hydro spokesman said.

“Our crews found that someone had shot out an insulator at a transformer north of Port McNeill,” said Ted Olynyk. “This isn’t the first time, either; we also had an outage in 2009 as the result of a shot-out insulator.”

Local RCMP are asking anyone with information to contact its Crimestoppers hot line or BC Hydro.

The incident occurred at or near BC Hydro’s Keogh substation, near the Highway 19 junction to Port Alice, at about 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26. The outage left more than 7,000 customers across the North Island without power, disrupting businesses and sending hydro crews scrambling to locate and repair the damage.

Residents were initially give an estimate of 3 p.m. for completion of repairs, a time frame then changed to 8 p.m. and, finally, 11 p.m. Power was restored shortly before 1 a.m. Aug. 27.

BC Hydro scrambled a helicopter for an air search to support ground crews that worked overtime to locate and repair the damage.

“It’s amazing someone would do this,” said Olynyk. “It has an impact on the safety of our crews, the economic loss that local businesses suffer, and the safety of all residents in the community.

“This is a very serious piece of vandalism.”

Grocery stores and other businesses in Port Hardy and Port McNeill were closed while employees waited on site throughout the afternoon for the power to be restored. The Hyde Creek Petro Canada station and the Swiftsure Esso in Port Hardy were able to remain open under generator power, and both had steady queues of customers at their gas pumps and cash registers throughout the day.

Police were notified when evidence of the vandalism was discovered, but due to the nature of the emergency the BC Hydro crews prioritized repairs over preservation of evidence.

“By the time we were called they had fixed it and taken everything away,” said Sgt. Craig Blanchard of Port McNeill RCMP. “They cleaned everything; there are no tire prints left.”

The file is held by Port Hardy RCMP. Anyone with information on the incident is urged to call the detachment at 250-949-6335 or the toll-free Crimestoppers line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

Just Posted

Island Foods renovates bottle depot and cans old bottle return system

“I don’t want people to spend the whole day here,” said Angela Taylor on Port McNeill’s bottle depot.

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Sointula Resource Centre to hold fundraising play

The play will “grab people’s attention” says Stephanie Rockman.

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Western Forest Products goes ahead with harvesting, despite Falconer’s concern

WFP will “mitigate impact on local wildlife” near Coal Harbour.

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Most Read