Roads reopen in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, but power still out for some

Another 24-26 hours, according to B.C. Hydro

A tree fell across a house in Albion during Thursday’s wind storm. (files)

A tree fell across a house in Albion during Thursday’s wind storm. (files)

All roads in Maple Ridge have been cleared of debris or wires following Thursday’s major wind storm and are now open, except for Hynes at 272nd streets.

“A bit of good news on this Sunday morning,” reads a Tweet from the City of Maple Ridge. “The only remaining road closure due to the windstorm is at 272 Street at Hynes. The folks at B.C. Hydro estimate they will have that repair completed around noon.”

The storm knocked out power to thousands of homes in large areas of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, as well as six schools.

Roads were closed due to wires down because of high winds, which also caused a tree to fall on a house in Albion.

Trees fell across more homes and vehicles. Fences were blown over, and trees uprooted.

Many areas remain without power included Ruskin, Whonnock, Ruskin, Silver Valley, central and west Maple Ridge, as well as southwest Pitt Meadows.

In Pitt Meadows, Woolridge Road, west of Barnes Road, has reopened. Rippington Road north of Old Dewdney Trunk Road remains closed to allow crews to remove fallen power lines.

Some homes have been without power since before noon Thursday.

Power will not be fully restored until Monday, Christmas Eve, according to B.C. Hydro.

“B.C. Hydro crews continue to make good progress and have restored power to over 550,000 customers since the windstorm hit on Thursday. About 44,000 customers remain without power – including about 4,000 in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley and 40,000 on Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands,” says a release from B.C. Hydro.

“More than 800 field personnel continue to work around-the-clock to repair the extensive damage to B.C. Hydro’s infrastructure after one of the most severe windstorms it has experienced in 20 years. Restoring remaining customers continues to be a challenge due to the extent of the damage. Hundreds of individual outages remain that crews have to attend to individually to make repairs, which includes restringing hundreds of spans of power lines, and replacing power poles and transformers.

“Hundreds of downed trees have left some road impassable, which means B.C. Hydro has not been able to complete a full damage assessment in some of the worse hit areas like Duncan, Nanaimo, Lake Cowichan and the affected Gulf Islands. As a result, it will take crews days to restore power to these areas. In some rural parts of Surrey and the Fraser Valley, it may take another 24 to 36 hours to restore power.”

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is asking those affected to ensure they have supplies and plans in place to remain safe during the outage, and to check in on neighbours, particularly those in vulnerable situations.

“Remember that downed power lines should be considered live and members of the public should keep back at least 10 metres,” he said.

“In addition, it is important that people use generators safely and never use a portable generator or outdoor barbecue or camp stove indoors.”

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