(File Photo)

A recent report from BC Hydro attributes more frequent power outages in the province to an increase in severe storms over the past five years.

According to data gathered by the electric utility company, the number of storm-related events they have responded to has tripled within that time frame.

The number of power outages during major storms has increased by about 265%, from 323,000 customers in 2013 to 1.18 million in 2017.

“The report titled ‘Storm warning: The impact B.C.’s wild weather is having on British Columbians and their power‘ found storm and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of climate change, leading to more damage to BC Hydro’s electrical system and outages for customers,” reads the press release.

Residents agree

According to a recent survey commissioned by BC Hydro, about 75% of British Columbians acknowledge that storms have gotten worse, with 20% indicating that they have experienced more power outages in recent years.

“Despite the challenges faced by crews during these severe weather events, our customers aren’t waiting longer to have their power restored,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

“In fact, about 95 per cent of customers’ power is restored within 24 hours following an extreme event.”

BC Hydro recommends British Columbians prepare for weather-related power outages by having a well-stocked emergency kit on hand that includes:

  • a flashlight
  • extra batteries
  • first aid kit
  • non-perishable food and water

The company is also reminding people that if they come across a damaged or drowned power line, assume it’s live, stay back at least 10 metres, and call 911 to report it.

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