Power Outages in Vancouver July 14

Comments 19 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Update: July 13, 2009: Over 40,000 people are affected by a power outages in Vancouver today, West of Cambie street. Check out the BC Hydro map to see who is without power at this time.

Power outages, transformer blowouts and traffic gridlock are all part of a chaotic scene in downtown Vancouver today.

I’d include some traffic camera footage here but go figure – they’re currently offline.

About 4,500 BC Hydro customers are without power in the area stretching from Beatty to Burrard and Hastings to Robson, roughly between Canada Place and Gastown. Numerous traffic lights are also out, and the outage has left a number buildings without electricity.

There are reports of a few people trapped in elevators. Waterfront Station has been evacuated, but SkyTrain and SeaBus passengers are being allowed in, as both services are still running. Bus service is being disrupted due to traffic lights not working at many intersections. [News1130]

Photo credit: TrevorO on Flickr

A source for power outage information is the BC Hydro website. That came in handy last week when an area of South East False Creek (including the stations where John works) was without power for several hours in the afternoon, also shutting down work at construction sites at the Olympic Village.

Photo © Carol Browne on Flickr

I’m used to power outages, we used to have them almost monthly when I lived in a certain area of Surrey, but these are no run-of-the-mill blackouts as according to reports something pretty big happened this morning.

For all those without power (running off laptop battery or who have changed locations) make sure to unplug your computer so that when the power comes back on there’s no potential frying of circuits.

Update: Carol Browne also has some pretty amazing shots of the electrical fire near Richards Street today on her Flickr.

Update: 3:20pm from News1130: “Approximately 1,500 BC Hydro customers are still without power, in a grid from Smithe St. to the Burrard Inlet, and between Columbia St. & Burrard St. At one point around 4,500 customers were without power in the area stretching from Beatty to Burrard and Hastings to Robson.”

Update: 8:00am July 15 from News 1130: “It could be late tonight, or even tomorrow before all of downtown Vancouver has power restored after an underground electrical fire. 20% of the downtown core had power knocked out yesterday morning.”

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19 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Dan UdeyMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 12:54pm PDT

    Curiously enough, our building is in that zone (The Landing, in Gastown) and yet we have power… except that half of the lights in half of our office aren’t working, but that seems like a coincidence.

  2. Michael KwanMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 1:07pm PDT

    I had a couple of minor power outages yesterday afternoon/early evening. They only lasted a few minutes, but it seemed very mild outside. Do you know the cause? I managed to keep power last week when it was crazy windy.

  3. Duane StoreyMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 1:12pm PDT

    All the lights are out near our building, but we (unfortunately) still have power.

  4. I’m away from Vancouver on vacation for one day… « Not To Be Trusted With KnivesMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 1:16pm PDT

    […] Not To Be Trusted With Knives {July 14, 2008}   I’m away from Vancouver on vacation for one day… …and the whole place goes to hell in a handbasket! […]

  5. Mom604Monday, July 14th, 2008 — 1:27pm PDT

    Business as usual near Shangi-La. Haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary.

  6. carol browneMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 1:52pm PDT

    Our office was sent home around 11:00 and the maintenance people told us it would probably take 3 hours or more before the electricity will be restored. Our building is right next to Holt Renfrew and Pacific Centre Mall and both those buildings had power when I left. Traffic leaving downtown was a gong show, so now it’s an afternoon off. Sweet!

    Thanks for linking to my photos, Rebbecca.

  7. John BiehlerMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:04pm PDT

    Hmm…I wonder if my commute home will be a breeze if everyone went home early!

  8. CandiceMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:04pm PDT

    im in Surrey – and even I am affected! our system is complete web-based – and go figure the central system is in the harbour centre – with no power – try running a medical office without being able to book appointments – not fun!

  9. Lisa EMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:15pm PDT

    I live in Squamish YET my business has come to a halt as my CRM is online with a company in gastown and my website server is also with another downtown Vancouver company. I now know that the redundant service they sold me doesn’t work. But these problems are few and far between. Makes me realize I should have more back-up in case of the “big one”

  10. DavidMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:21pm PDT

    Our office on West Hastings Street has power but our colo facility in Harbour Center is without power. Apparently the generator in the building caught fire after it kicked in earlier this afternoon.

  11. MeghanMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:25pm PDT

    Just my luck…my office is at Davie and Hamilton. I would like the afternoon off! Why, Why?!?!

  12. GreggMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:50pm PDT

    Just looked at the BC Hydro site, they have the cause as “Cable Fault” but also have it marked as a “Planned Outage”.

  13. Miss604Monday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:52pm PDT

    @Gregg – by the looks of the smoke I hope that wasn’t planned…

  14. DavidMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:52pm PDT

    Peer 1, Fusepoint and Serenity Networks are all in the Harbour Center. Generator 7 is having problems so Peer 1 and Fusepoint are down. Serenity Networks is up but since the HVAC isn’t working the lab is at ~47C and the router keeps having to be reset due to heating. Crazy stuff!

  15. Miss604Monday, July 14th, 2008 — 2:52pm PDT

    @David – servers + no AC = bad times YIKES

  16. AndreaMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 4:23pm PDT

    We lost power because of the electrical fire and finally decided to get our own emergency generator. The hardware store was out of generators, so my husband searched and found one at mainpowerconnect.com Hopefully the generator will keep the lights on, food cold and from spoiling again and our business up and running.

  17. civilized spice » Blog Archive » fashion don’t: tunics worn as dresses = trashyMonday, July 14th, 2008 — 8:53pm PDT

    […] full advantage of the Vancouver power outage, the girls and I decided to park ourselves on the patio at the new Cactus Club on Burrard Street […]

  18. Jonathon NarveyTuesday, July 15th, 2008 — 5:12pm PDT

    Same as Meghan. I was on the wrong side of the outage. Anyway, my daytime gig working with IT consulting and web security people in an office with giant servers and nifty backup generators to match means I’ll be working through the apocalypse. Bleah.

    See you at Third Tuesday, I’m sure.

  19. CityView: Power To The People Ain’t Guaranteed | CurrentsTuesday, July 15th, 2008 — 5:37pm PDT

    […] lights went out in Vancouver the other day, as Vancouver blogging maven Miss604 has dutifully reported. It wasn’t too bad, since it happened in the daytime. Some of my […]

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