OUR VIEW: Bravo FortisBC

While FortisBC has been criticized in the past, it stepped up when it came to restoring power after the recent wind storm in Grand Forks.

The fierce weather that occurred late Friday afternoon wasn’t limited to Grand Forks and Christina Lake.

Ymir, Crawford Bay, Coffee Creek and Kaslo were amongst other areas hit.

According to officials from the City of Grand Forks, customers of the city’s power utility were largely unaffected – although power had to be cut to some areas to deal with fallen trees – but residents of Christina Lake, North Fork Road, Granby Road and some other local FortisBC customers lost electricity.

FortisBC has been criticized in the past for rate increases and the like but it really stepped up to the plate as it were.

Christina Lake residents were without power for Friday night. The homecoming wine and cheese reception at the welcome centre was done by candlelight and the Christina Lake Fire Department had to lend a generator in order for coffee to be made at the Christina Lake Community Hall for the homecoming pancake breakfast but power was restored by noon on Saturday.

The evening’s festivities went on with electricity to power the microphones and sound systems in the hall for entertainment.

Residents up the North Fork were without power for a longer period of time but the sounds of FortisBC workers and subcontractors could be heard late Saturday and into early Sunday as they repaired the number of power lines and poles that toppled due to the winds on Friday.

By Sunday night a number of people on North Fork Road had power back and according to Joyce Wagenaar, FortisBC’s director of communications, the company (as of Monday) was in the final stages of restoring power to customers affected by the storm, including other areas of North Fork Road.

She said FortisBC was hoping to have the main line that services the North Fork area repaired, although she said even after that is repaired there may be specific damage to customers and it would prioritize restoration to those customers.

Still, FortisBC had a large area to cover thanks to the storms and while many customers were without power for a couple of days, it could’ve been a lot longer.

Sure workers are and were handsomely compensated for their time but they still had to put the hours in, long hours.

FortisBC might be criticized a lot but in this case, they deserve praise.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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