Richmond power outages leave thousands in the dark

Motorists navigate through an uncontrolled intersection Wednesday afternoon. - Martin van den Hemel photo
Motorists navigate through an uncontrolled intersection Wednesday afternoon.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

Thousands of residents and businesses in Richmond have been affected by numerous power outages Wednesday - a day that brought some of the heaviest rainfall of the summer.

In the early afternoon, thousands of properties remained in the dark.

Near City Centre, an area bounded by Garden City, No. 4, Odlin and Francis roads was hit with a power outage around 11:25 a.m. As of 1 p.m., B.C. Hydro had no estimate as to when the power would be restored to nearly 5,000 properties.

In East Richmond, the lights went out around 9:30 a.m. at 600 properties surrounding the Cambie Road overpass of Knight Street. Power isn't expected to be restored until 2:30 p.m., according to B.C. Hydro.

Both causes are listed as "under investigation" by the utility company.

A few smaller outages were still also affecting power users around Richmond Wednesday afternoon - one due to a transformer replacement, another for planned equipment work.

Intersections were proving dangerous as many motorists were failing to stop at powerless traffic signals, witnesses told The Richmond Review.

At least one collision occurred during the outage: at No. 4 Road and Granville Avenue just after noon.

On its website, the City of Richmond's transportation department spells out what motorists should do in the event of a power outage: "When a traffic signal has gone dark due to power failure, it is considered to function the same as a four-way stop controlled intersection. A driver must stop and yield according to the four-way stop rules before entering the intersection."

By 3 p.m., the lights were back on for the majority of those who lost power in Richmond. Only 50 customers at No 2 and Granville were still powerless.

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