Downtown Vancouver without power for second day
We welcome more information about the continuing power outage in Downtown Vancouver. Please add your footage and comments below.
Update 3:21 PDT Telus is struggling alongside B.C. Hydro to restore phone service to businesses and residents in downtown Vancouver.
As BC Hydro restored power to about half of the 2,200 downtown Vancouver customers who lost power Monday morning, Telus crews were delivering generators to customers in an attempt to restore phone service.
Telus reported that many businesses were without phone service. A spokesman for Telus said that, as the outage passed the 24-hour mark, some smaller facilities serving individual commercial buildings ran out of backup power or were at risk of running out sometime Tuesday.
Shawn Hall said Telus crews were driving around the city trying to get additional batteries or generators to customers as quickly as possible.
"It's very time-consuming work," said Hall. "But we're working round the clock."
He said mobile services were not affected by the power outage.
2:10 PDT Yesterday's fire was caused by a "failed splice" in a cable, B.C. Hydro says.
BC Hydro says a 'failed splice' in a cable was behind the underground fire in Vancouver yesterday, a local media outlet reports.
1:00 PDT B.C. Hydro's Vice President says power will only be fully restored tomorrow.
"We're targeting to have ... a great number of people on by the end of today," Gary Rodford, Hydro's senior vice-president of operations said at a news conference shortly after 11 a.m. "End of today for me is midnight. And we'll have the majority on [by] tomorrow."
Update 11:30 PDT Power has been restored to half of the 2,200 downtown residents who lost power yesterday, B.C. Hydro reported at 11:00 PST.
BC Hydro has been able to restore power to approximately 50 per cent of the 2,200 customers that lost power due to an underground fire yesterday on Richards Street.
Downtown businesses are pressing on through the blackout "by turning employees into instant telecommuters [how do they do that!] or shifting operations to branch offices," the Vancouver Sun says.
It is not business as usual for downtown companies caught in the BC Hydro power failure but it is still business for many as they find ways to cope by turning employees into instant telecommuters or shifting operations to branch offices.
Downtown investment firm Odlum Brown, with offices in the still darkened PricewaterhouseCoopers Place, is one firm that has done a bit of both, Murray Leith, the company's vice-president and head of investment research said in an interview.
Leith said research analysts who normally telecommute have traded their remote access privileges with investment advisers so they can buy and sell stock for clients, other advisers have been sent to work out of Odlum Brown's branch offices as far afield as Chilliwack and even the West Vancouver home of the firm's president.
10:45 PDT Power is still out today in Vancouver's downtown core after yesterday's electrical fire. (See NowPublic's previous coverage for on-the-scene photos and live reports from people in the area). BC Hydro announced this morning that it could take days to repair the damage.
BC Hydro spokeswoman Susan Danard said it could be some time before power is restored. Crews have to pull 14 damaged cables out of a manhole, flush out the underground vault thoroughly, then bring in new cables and splice them before power can be reconnected.
"Unfortunately, we are looking at a fairly extensive repair job," Danard said. "It could be a couple of days before we've completed all the splicing of all the new cable."
Crews were having difficulty accessing the manhole where the fire started because of smoke and heat. BC Hydro said the damage will likely be "significant."
With the power out to much of downtown Vancouver, police expected there might be trouble from looters and pillagers after darkness fell on Monday night.
The force deployed extra officers to ensure property remained safe.
But everything was quiet in the powerless city overnight.
"No police incidents related to the power outage were reported," Vancouver Police Department Insp. Steve Rai said in a statement.
In downtown Vancouver this morning, people are making the best of the darkness.
There is an eerie hush in the lobby of the Pan Pacific Hotel. Front desk staff have been working by candlelight all night. Staff are actually brewing morning coffee at another hotel.
While most seem to be channelling their adventurous spirits, for one driver waiting for his first pick-up of the day, this story has been a major headache. He says it's been horrible and yesterday afternoon, there were no traffic lights on Georgia and Burrard, Davie and Granville and he says it was a mess.
It looks like business as usual for the hundreds of workers starting a new day. Most Gastown stores have posted handwritten signs in their front windows, apologizing for the inconvenience caused by this outage. For now there is uncertainy to when it will all be back to business as usual there.
Watch for updates on B.C. Hydro's website.