British Columbia Sun

Severe winter climate cuts power and snags access to small Vancouver-Island communities


Key takeaways: 

  • Emergency officials are getting in food by chopper; citizens are advised to remain off roads.
  • The road linking Zeballos, B.C. to the rest of Vancouver Island is in such poor shape that citizens are being requested to stay off it unless they simply must travel. 

Winter conditions in BC get worse: 

Officials state severe winter climate situations have made roads to Tahsis and Zeballos on Vancouver Island near-impassable, and they’re advising citizens to stay off them.

The remote villages are linked to the remainder of the island by forest service roads. The road to Zeballos, on the northwest coast of the island, also links to the Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, Nuchatlaht, and Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations.

The condition is compounded by the fact that much of the province has also been under a power outage since the early hours of Tuesday. Wet, weighty snow has impaired transmission lines and infrastructure in some places, which are presently only reachable by helicopter. B.C. Hydro states it expects to fix power on Thursday, but that restorations are weather-dependent. 

Also read: The freezing climate in northern B.C. induces frost jams along the Fraser River

Severe weather in BC leads to power cuts and blocks ways to remote Vancouver Island

To aid citizens, warming centres have been set up in the communities. In Zeballos, where the road might not be enhanced till Jan. 14, prescription medication is being flown in by helicopter. Meals will be shipped to warming centres as well. 

Shaun Koopman with the Strathcona Regional District expects that support will aid convince individuals to remain home and not risk getting into danger on the road — and place first responders at danger, too.

He’s also requesting citizens to be patient toward road teams and “to show that we don’t expect them to work into the ground and work into dangerous circumstances.” Source –

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