Two 'snowcats' making a road to power lines

SRD: Individuals and corporations helping out during recent cold snap

At their January 12th meeting, the SRD Board had some good reports about the way individuals and corporations helped out during the recent cold snap.

Man using emergency kit during blackout – courtesy BC Hydro Facebook page

Chair Brad Unger brought the topic up during his update:

“The weather throughout our Regional District just the last couple of weeks, snow, rain, freezing rain, more snow, power outages everywhere within the Regional District, but nowhere near as it was in Tahsis and Zeballos. No power there for several days; well closures etc. I want to say hats off to Mayor and Director, Martin Davis [of Tahsis], Mayor/Director, Julie Colburn [of Zeballos]. Great job with your communities.” 

Damage on the transmission line that provides service to Tahsis and Zeballos – Photo courtesy BC Hydro

During the emergency, the SRD activated warming centres in Tahsis and Zeballos and worked closely with BC Ambulance Services ensuring continuity of ambulance services and provision of essential medications.

Thus Unger added, “the other one I want to reach out to is our protective services coordinator, Shaun Koopman, outstanding job, Shaun.” 

 Regional Director Jim Abrams, from Quadra Island praised, “all of the communities and all of the first nations communities that work together out there to try and keep everybody warm and fed and dry and whatever else.”

“But I also think that we  should give a special shout out to BC Hydro for the incredible work that they had to do in the most unbelievable weather that they probably experienced, maybe in their career, and they got it done. I think, we so often forget about the fact that the service providers are actually out there all night in the dark, busting their butts in the cold trying to keep us in survival mode. So I just like to thank BC Hydro, publicly, and hopefully that will get off to them. Maybe a letter from the chair on behalf of the board to thank BC Hydro for what they did on this rebuild. Because basically it wasn’t a repair, it was a rebuild of the transmission lines into those communities and they really do deserve some accolades.” 

Another view of the damage between Tahsis and Zeballos – courtesy BC Hydro

BC Hydro did extensive work throughout Greater Campbell River, including Quadra and Cortes Islands, but when Cortes Currents asked for images BC Hydro sent photos of damage on the transmission line that provides service to Tahsis and Zeballos. 

Mayor Martin Davis of Tahsis said, “I’d also like to echo those comments to thank BC Hydro and Sean Koopman did an amazing job.  My community pulled together and I know there was a lot of exhaustion at the end because we went pretty much full week without power. We saw help from many places.  I know Grieg Seafood brought in 1500 litres of diesel fuel. So we’d like to thank them for that.  Western Forest Products actually brought in several truckloads of firewood yesterday because a lot of people were running low on firewood because it’s been such a cold winter there.  It was great to see the community pull together.  I’d like to thank our paramedics and our staff and public works for keeping things running because they literally had to use generators to run the pumping stations for sewage, those sorts of things. Everybody’s exhausted at the end and I hope that’s the end of it.”

Regional Director Brenda Leigh, from Black Creek-Buttle Lake, had some further acknowledgements:

“I would also like to maybe send a separate letter to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding the excellent service that Mainroad Contracting has provided to the areas outside in the provincial ministry transportation jurisdiction, I was so impressed with main road. If my constituents had a medical problem and they needed to have their road cleared, these people worked around the clock. We didn’t have the extended electrical problems because we have a substation on York Road that keeps us powered up, but we did have the same amount of snow coming down.  It was brutal for people and the people in my area pulled together. We shovelled out our elderly neighbours. Everyone helped each other, but Mainroad was a shining star. They were awesome. And I think we should send them a letter of thanks as well.”

Top photo credit: When access is a problem, BC Hydro brings in snow cats to clear the way – Photo courtesy BC Hydro Facebook page

Damaged pole between Tahsis and Zeballos – courtesy BC Hydro

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