North Coast experienced a power outage on March 1. (BC Hydro map)

All of Prince Rupert on backup power after avalanche causes outage

The coastal city will be on a backup generator until BC Hydro can make repairs

After an avalanche knocked out the City of Prince Rupert’s power, the coastal community and nearby Port Edward are relying on a backup generator for all of their electricity. An avalanche approximately 45km west of Terrace damaged a transmission tower on the south shore of the Skeena River, putting 8,000 customers in that dark for an hour on March 1.

The communities will remain on the backup generator until BC Hydro fixes the main transmitter.

Customers should note that clocks will run approximately 18 seconds faster per hour while the gas-fired service is active.

BC Hydro listed five outages which started at 12:16 p.m. when the transmission line serving the two communities went out of service.

Crews were dispatched to start up the Prince Rupert Gas Plant and begin bringing customers back online, said Dave Mosure, northern community relations for BC Hydro. Helicopter patrols were initiated to discover the cause of the event.

By 1:10 p.m. all residential and commercial customers were back on, and by 1:22 p.m. all remaining industrial customers were fully restored.

“This is a coordinated effort given the size of the load involved,” Mosure said in an email.

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Crews have not closed Highway 16 for avalanche control as mentioned earlier.

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