BC Hydro update #3: Highway 1 and 7 re-opened

BC Hydro continues to manage transmission infrastructure stability along the Fraser River near Coquitlam and Surrey. BC Hydro and contractor crews have worked throughout the night, in conjunction with emergency officials, and recently successfully removed all cables that had fallen over roads and most of what had fallen on the CN train tracks Monday evening. As such, Highway 1 and Highway 7 were re-opened almost two hours earlier than anticipated to all traffic by the RCMP and we are hopeful United Boulevard will be open by mid afternoon.

 BC Hydro is now focusing on removing de-energized transmission lines that remain in the Fraser River. Additional crews have been called in from across the Lower Mainland to assist with repairing damage to the distribution system.  Police and related authorities remain onsite to ensure orderly traffic movement and general safety.

 Safety, power reliability and minimizing the impact and inconvenience to businesses and residences nearby remain top priorities as we continue to manage the transmission towers and power lines affected by above average water flows in the Fraser River near the Port Mann bridge. BC Hydro will undertake a further inspection of transmission infrastructure in the Fraser River area to ensure its integrity given the high water flows.

 There are no new power outages to report. We thank customers and all those impacted for their patience and cooperation as we continue to work to ensure safety and power reliability.

 Background:

 Power has been restored to all but a handful of customers in the Surrey area who were affected Monday night by the destabilized transmission infrastructure along the Fraser River. The large majority of customers (20,000) experienced a short 45 minute outage Tuesday evening. Most customers of the remaining customers (5,000), with the exception of a few, had power restored by just after 11 p.m.

 BC Hydro has been monitoring and working actively over the past weekend to address limited transmission line instability in one area along the Fraser River near the Port Mann Bridge, caused by high water levels. The affected transmission lines had been stabilized over the weekend.

 Monday evening the situation deteriorated as a result of increased and unexpected erosion along the river that may have been accelerated by an unexpectedly high water flow.

 A 230 kv transmission tower fell at about 9 pm and approximately 25,000 Surrey area customers were without power.

 There were no safety issues as a result of the fallen transmission tower as the attached power lines were de-energized.

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