Up, up and away: balloons tangled in overhead electrical wires were among the causes of some of BC Hydro’s most memorable power outages of 2020. (Photo credit: BC Hydro)

Up, up and away: balloons tangled in overhead electrical wires were among the causes of some of BC Hydro’s most memorable power outages of 2020. (Photo credit: BC Hydro)

BC Hydro ranks its most memorable power outages of 2020

Beavers and bears were some of the wildlife that played havoc with the power supply

BC Hydro crews responded to more than 61,000 trouble calls over the last 12 months, and some were less “routine” than others. As the year draws to a close, BC Hydro has compiled a list of the top 10 most memorable causes of power outages in 2020.

Un-bear-able weight: A hungry bear outside Nakusp climbed a cherry tree in search of a snack. Unfortunately, the tree could not hold the weight of the bear and it resulted in branches falling on to electrical equipment, causing a power outage.

Grandma’s birthday surprise: A grandmother’s celebration in Vernon reached new heights when her helium balloons came loose and flew into overhead wires, causing an outage to 120 other homes (and ending the party).

Dam trees: Busy beavers in Dawson Creek and Prince George caused over 700 customer outages when large branches from their dam construction fell into power lines.

Birds of play: Ospreys in Vernon and Kelowna decided to dispose of their unneeded nest supplies by dropping sticks on BC Hydro power lines. Perhaps an attempted game of power line pick-up sticks?

Insect eviction: Wasps took up residence in BC Hydro’s equipment in Surrey, North Vancouver, and Chemainus, and even built a nest inside a streetlight in Windermere.

Nuts about power: Fearless squirrels chewed through wires in Nanaimo and Langley, causing outages for more than 8,000 customers.

Meter motive: In Chilliwack, crews responded to an outage call only to discover the electricity meter was missing. They later retrieved it from a burglar who was walking down the street, meter in hand.

Let it go!: In both Hope and Vernon, kites broke from their owners’ grasp, causing outages to about 2,000 customers. Luckily, the kite owners just “let it go” before the kites came into contact with live power lines.

Going green: East Vancouver residents may reconsider their composting habits after a plant someone tossed out their window hit electrical equipment and caused an outage to 69 people.

Leaf it to the professionals: In Vernon, a homeowner was lucky to escape injury after contacting the power line while cleaning his gutters, causing a power outage.

While outages can be unpredictable, many of these outages were preventable. BC Hydro is reminding the public to:

Look up and be aware: Watch for power lines in your area, and never carry balloons or fly kites or drones near power lines.

Weigh down items that can fly away: Always securely fasten balloons or inflatables to make sure they will not be picked up by a sudden gust of wind and contact a power line.

Respect the power of electricity: Every year people are seriously injured or killed by electricity. Stay back at least three metres from any power lines – the length of a standard four-door car.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Kelly Servinski, of the Tutti Hotel in Clinton, climbs above the river. (Photo credit: http://www.sterlinglorence.com/)
Gravel is the new gold: Cyclist bumps new biking trend

There’s gravel in them thar hills around Clinton

Amy Newman follows the route of the Cariboo Waggon Road — now Highway 97 — through Clinton. (Photo credit: New Pathways to Gold Society)
Grant received for Cariboo Waggon Road restoration project north of Clinton

New Pathways to Gold hopes to start work this summer on restoring sections of historic road

Dan Cumming (l, with Lisa Colwell, LPN) was one of 1,918 people who received their first COVID-19 vaccine at a community clinic in Ashcroft in early May. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Vaccine clinics in Ashcroft, Clinton administered 2,664 first doses

Residents over the age of 18 are still eligible to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Then-minister Rich Coleman, escorted by Victoria Police, makes his way to the east wing amid a protest blocking the legislature entrances before the throne speech in Victoria, B.C., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. money laundering inquiry testimony ends today with reappearance of Rich Coleman

Responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, Coleman been recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month

Colin Dowler rests in hospital recuperating from wounds suffered from a grizzly bear attack north of Campbell River. He was able to end the struggle by stabbing the bear in the neck with a knife like the one he is holding. Photo submitted
‘Bad-ass dude that took on a grizzly bear’ doesn’t let 2019 B.C. attack bring him down

Campbell River’s Colin Dowler gets on with his life as his rehabilitation continues

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport in Richmond, B.C. on Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Meeting police chance to get sense of ‘frustrating’ gang violence situation: minister

Mike Farnworth met with police representatives Thursday following a recent spate of shootings

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue manager Ken Neden, as he goes over the events of the Qualicum Falls river rescue on Dec. 12, 2020, for a United Kingdom television program “Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera’. (Mandy Moraes photo)
TV show spreading news of daring B.C. river rescue across the world

Arrowsmith SAR trio share their accounts for ‘Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera’

Shane Ertmoed’s application for Escorted Temporary Absences was granted following a hearing May 4, 2021. (File photo)
B.C. child-killer an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

Most Read