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Wind sparks trouble in Ladysmith

Fire Chief Ray Delcourt looks over a power line was reported to be arcing on Symonds Street in Ladysmith on March 2. Power was shut off and BC Hydro was called.

While it may not have been the vicious wind storm some had expected, a few strong gusts were still able to blow in some trouble on Vancouver Island.Ted Olynyk, manager of community relations for BC Hydro on Vancouver Island, said at the worst, 40,000 to 50,000 customers were without power on the Island on March 2.Still Olynyk said it wasn’t the worst storm BC Hydro has seen.“This storm is comparable to the one that hit the Island last year, April 2010, and we had over 100,000 customers impacted.”Olynyk said repairs and improvements to the system  and education management  helped BC Hydro better handle the storm.Olynyk said he hadn’t heard of any situations on March 2 where there was any danger to the public or Hydro workers and noted one of the worse situations was near Port Alberni, where 30 spands of line were down.“It was troublesome getting to some areas because of the ferry delays.”Olynyk said he wants to thank BC Hydro customer for their patience during the outages and remind people they can check BC Hydro’s website through their smartphones for updates on outages.Despite a couple of incidents in Ladysmith, it was just another day for local firefighters.“It was not that bad,” said Delcourt.“We can get those kind of days any time.”Delcourt said Ladysmith didn’t get the full force of the storm, adding those types of storms have kept his crews busy in the past. One of the only locals calls came in when there were reports of the power line arcing outside Den’s Ladysmith Collision Centre shortly after 10 a.m.“The one we had was just a matter of waiting for Hydro,” said Delcourt, adding the urgency of the call, since it was arcing into the building, put them higher on the priority list.Shirley Goglin, an employee with the collision centre, said she noticed the lights dimming and could hear crackling.“I thought someone was welding,” she said, standing outside as the wind and rain began to pick up.Save-On Gas employee Martin Skinner said he, too, was able to see sparks coming from the power line.Delcourt said local firefighters also helped North Oyster with two problems, one on Beale Road, behind the Ivy Green Husky, and on Quennelle Road in North Oyster.Delcourt said his firefighters take annual classes on power line safety to keep them up to date.

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