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]
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.
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.”