Eateries suffering, Olympics playing it cool as Vancouver's power slowly restored
"Given the extent of the damage to our underground circuits, I am pleased that we have been able to restore power to the vast majority of our customers within 48 hours," said Gary Rodford, senior vice president of field operations. "Our crews did a great job."
Part of the affected area was still without power as of 8 a.m., with many businesses closed and others improvising with everything from portable generators to telecommuting to keep operations running.
Ron Downie thought he would be living his dream yesterday. Instead, he was washing dishes.
After years of working for other coffee shops, Downie was supposed to open the doors of his own place on Water Street in Gastown yesterday morning.
But like many of the businesses along Water Street in downtown Vancouver, La Luna Café had no electricity.
"What do you do?" said an exasperated Downie, 38. "I baked everything fresh, and it's all garbage."
The lack of information from B.C. Hydro about how long the power will be out is the biggest problem for Downie and other businesses affected by Monday's underground fire.
"If I had known this was going to be a major catastrophe, I would have organized a backup plan, and I wouldn't have had three more orders show up today," Downie said.
"I just dumped $2,500 to $3,500 in products and I've got stuff stashed in cafés all over the city."
Maureen Fleming, owner of Social at Le Magasin restaurant and butcher shop in Gastown, estimated her losses at about $20,000 in the past two days.
Vancouver's Olympic organizers and BC Hydro say they are reviewing plans for backup power services for the 2010 Winter Games in light of the power failure that left a large swath of the downtown -- including a critical Olympic venue -- in the dark for at least a day and a half.
Saying they can ill afford to have another blackout of the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, which will host the international broadcast centre and the main press centre, the Vancouver Organizing Committee said Tuesday it will take lessons learned from a post-incident report Hydro will do on Monday's power failure.