La Nina forecasts vary, but good to be prepared, power company says

New smart meters will help B.C. Hydro better manage any winter crisis

  • Oct. 25, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Greater Victoria will be hit hard this winter as the La Nina phenomenon makes its return, says a prominent U.S. based weather forecasting company.

However, Environment Canada doesn’t think the cold and stormy weather will be as severe as Accuweather is suggesting.

B.C. Hydro, whose crews and infrastructure would bear the brunt of a brutal cold snap, isn’t planning any changes to its usual winter preparations.

But thanks to smart meters, it will be easier for B.C. Hydro to pinpoint  outage locations, even when customers are asleep and don’t know the power has gone out, said company spokesperson Ted Olnyk.

The information will make it easier for B.C. Hydro to dispatch repair crews to the most critical sites serving the most people, he said.

For those worried they will be caught in a deep freeze without sufficient emergency supplies to stay comfortable, Olnyk said it’s good for families to ensure they have an emergency kit to deal with natural disasters, including a major earthquake.

“People need to prepare,” he said. “Have an emergency plan for any extreme.”

La Nina, which is the opposite of El Nino, is a regular weather pattern that brings colder air than normal to Canada as well as higher than usual snowfalls to the West Coast.