A man pushing a young girl in a stroller walks past a large tree that was downed during a windstorm in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on August 29, 2015. BC Hydro is warning 2022’s storm season could see much of the same. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

‘Substantial damage’ more likely this storm season due to drought-weakened trees: BC Hydro

Electricity supplier warns power outages could be widespread and frequent this year

Months of record-breaking dry weather have set B.C. up for the perfect storm, the province’s power supplier is warning.

BC Hydro says drought-stricken trees are far more likely to become uprooted or snap in half as the windy season picks up. As a result, British Columbians could be facing more serious power outages this fall and winter than in a typical year.

BC Hydro’s meteorologist is predicting “a greater likelihood for substantial damage this storm season,” according to a Wednesday (Oct. 26) news release.

“Trees that have been impacted by the drought will not show immediate visible effects. However, drought conditions have impacted the small structural roots that provide trees with stability, making them more susceptible to wind of any speed,” BC Hydro says.

This year’s storm season will be further amplified by the fact that last year was mild, BC Hydro says. This means there is an even greater supply of weakened trees ready to be toppled.

BC Hydro says conditions this year are similar to that of 2015 and 2018, when the province experienced significant power outages. The electricity supplier says more than half of all its power outages are caused by trees and bad weather.

People are encouraged to prepare for potential outages by making an emergency kit with flashlights, water, first aid supplies and non-perishables. BC Hydro is also reminding people to never approach downed or damaged power lines and to call 911 if they see one.

Outage information can always be found at bchydro.com/outages.

READ ALSO: Lengthy pandemic closure finally over for B.C. park straddling Washington border

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