(Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS) Anita Place Tent City was dark Wednesday morning.

Update: Power back on after cold night at Maple Ridge tent city

Maintenance work underway on Tuesday

The power went out at Anita Place Tent City in Maple Ridge during one of the coldest nights of the year.

“There are no lights or power in the warming tent,” camp volunteer Chris Bossley said late Tuesday.

Kevin Aquino of B.C. Hydro said that crews were on site Tuesday afternoon to repair electrical equipment that had become damaged.

City of Maple Ridge electrical equipment was also damaged and has to be repaired before Hydro can restore power, which remained out as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We had to go and disconnect the power so the repairs can be done safely. We’ve had conversations with the city and we’ve informed them that there has been some damage, so they need to go in and repair the equipment before we’re able to conduct a re-connection,” Aquino said.

Fred Armstrong, with the City of Maple Ridge, said that the power meter and connection for the camp had been tampered with and had to be replaced.

The new meter was to be installed Wednesday, with power restored to the camp that evening, Armstrong added.

Rajvir Rao, with B.C. Housing, said electricity at the camp is not for personal tents, but for the lights in the warming tent and washrooms, tent heater, and hot water tanks, she added.

“B.C. Housing continues to provide daily meals, bottled water, extra blankets and sleeping bags, as well as other cold weather items,” Rao added.

People are still being encouraged to use the shelter beds available via the Salvation Army or the Hope for Freedom Society’s mat program.

Camp resident Dwayne Martin said there has been no heat in the washrooms for the past two weeks. He added, if there are no lights in the camp, rats start climbing all over the place.

The outage occurred during one of the coldest nights of the year, as temperatures at Pitt Meadows Regional Airport dropped to -8 C early Wednesday.

People can drop off blankets or socks or sweaters at the warming tent, in the middle of the camp on 223rd Street in the downtown, Bossley said.

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