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Power restored to Creston after prolonged outages

FortisBC has managed to restore power to most, if not all, homes following a fierce windstorm that knocked out the power for many homes in and around Creston this week.

With the colder-than-average temperatures and the power failing, many were left cold and unsure of when the power would return.

While the power has since been restored, Creston Fire Chief Jared Riel says it’s still best to prepare for future outages.

However, Creston Fire Chief Jared Riel says it’s still best to prepare for future outages.

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Fire Chief Jared Riel

“It’s all about preparation. Before the power outage, it’s really important to think about some of the things that you might need in an emergency kit so that you can look after yourself, at least for that first couple of days.”

He says it’s important to think about what would be necessary for a home without electricity.

“Think about some food and water, maybe like a flashlight and some stuff for first aid supplies, those kinds of things. If you have additional types of things like medications, prescription medications, you want to make sure and have things on hand and have the supply ready to go. And if you have pets, you want to make sure and think about what their needs are.”

If you find yourself in such a situation unprepared, it’s best to reach out to others for help

“That’s the name of the game. It’s all about preparation in those types of situations so that you’re ready to handle and have a plan. The other part of the plan is to try to talk to a friend or neighbor or family member.”

Riel says if you lose power in cold temperatures, layer up and stay warm.

“If you have a wood-burning fireplace or wood stove, those are always good sources of heat, but you want to make sure that they’re taken care of so that they’re in good working order when you need to use them.”

However, make sure to be aware of potential dangers with heating sources.

“The one thing that you want to avoid is bringing inside any sort of barbecue or gas-type heater. Those can let off carbon monoxide and displace oxygen, and so they can be very, very dangerous if you bring those inside.”

Luckily, in Creston, there were no major emergencies related to the loss of power.

“The neighborhood was really looking after each other. Some of the houses have had gas appliances that still worked. Some had generators that were able to run different things. And so everybody banded together and looked after each other. It was a bad situation with a good outcome.”

Riel says to contact the Town of Creston and check their website for updates on the current outages.

Another place you can check is the ForticBC website.

Communications manager with FortisBC Sean Beardow says they work hard to keep their website updated.

“Whenever possible, we update that with an estimated time of restoration. We also work hard to deliver updates via our Twitter account and on our web page, where we’re always looking to share where we’re at in the repair process, make people aware of when we’re expecting restoration time, and really kind of share the latest and greatest as I know it could be a stressful time when you’re dealing with an extended outage.”

Fortis workers were spotted working on the lines in the middle of the windstorm, something noticed and appreciated by those living in town.

“I got to tell you, our crews are amazing,” said Beardow.

“They do a tremendously difficult job that requires a lot of skill and a lot of physical exertion in the most difficult conditions. We realize how much our customers depend on having a reliable source of energy and having their power on, especially in the winter. Our crews are going to be out there regardless of the weather to try to get their service up and running as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Beardow says the windstorm knocked out the power for close to 3,800 customers throughout the southern interior.

Most if not all customers are restored, however, there may be some lingering issues.

“There are a couple of scattered instances where there were damages directly to the distribution line. For particular lines to people’s houses, for example, that may require some repair on the home side, but all of the places where we’re able to fix things, we’ve gone out and fixed things.”

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