Monday, September 19, 2016

Our Power Outage and Seeking an Alternate

45 hour Power Outage - followup with BC Hydro

Many property owners and businesses had some questions following the 45 hour power outage we had in July.  

I followed up with BC Hydro with some questions - here are the questions & the BC Hydro answers in red.


      1. BC Hydro updates through phone-in system were not updated for almost 24 hours.  Our community is expressing concern that they would have made more all encompassing plans had they known sooner the difficult circumstances and the possible length of the outage.  These updates did improve from approx.. 24 hours on. Unfortunately we were challenged to first identify the location/nature of the problem, then gain access to the site. Both of these challenges, plus a lack of cell service in the area limited our ability to establish and convey a more accurate restoration target earlier on. That said, we appreciate the point and we will look at how we can improve this moving forward.  

       
Jerry Muir, BC Hydro Community Relations Rep & me walking and talking at the Haylmore Heritage Site. 
2. The SLRD staff contacted you about 16 hours into this outage and you  were wonderfully responsive.  However, the question has been asked, given the assessment of the situation and the length of time it was going to take to restore power, why BC Hydro did not proactively contact local government so their systems of contact etc. could be initiated. Per above, we faced challenges early on in scoping the nature of the problem. Once the problem had been identified from an aerial survey on Monday morning, I was in the process of drafting a notification (email) when the phone call from SLRD was first received. From that point, I relayed all new info to numerous contacts at the SLRD – which was used to update social media channels as well as epact (emergency) notifications.


     3, There are questions, given the obvious difficult site assessment and the apparent, and to residents obvious length of time it was going to take to restore power, why generation was not rerouted from La Joie Dam generation.  Residents made the point that BC Hydro has made a huge impact in our area and it is their expectation that this would have happened once the difficulty of the situation are known;
Under normal circumstances, we would have been able to use Lajoie to restore service in the area much sooner. Unfortunately we are in the middle of a significant maintenance project there which excluded its use during the outage. This project has now completed.

4   4.   Residents were told, via updates, at end of day Monday that the old pole had been extracted from the mud slide.  Residents are asking why the first priority, given the assessment, was not to put in a new pole and get power restored.
I think there was a miscommunication/misinterpretation of the update on Monday. The update below was provided at the end of the Monday. The conductor was removed from the old pole but the challenge was finding a stable location to set the pole up.

Crews were able to reach the structure and remove the old pole from the conductor. Unfortunately they were not able to place the pole back in the same location because of the large washout. The plan for tomorrow is to set the new pole and anchor on stable ground across the washout. At this point, our best estimate is that we should be able to restore power by tomorrow afternoon. Site conditions continue to be a challenge and we appreciate your understanding.  (9:19pm, July 18th)

The existing pole was simply moved to the staging area for inspection. At the same time, crews continued to prep the new site. Once the site was fully prepped, the old pole was reused.  


Please remember to join the SLRD emergency alert system:  http://www.slrd.bc.ca/services/emergency-management/slrd-alert-sign
Additionally you need to get a phone that is non-electric (corded) or has battery backup.  If you use an answering machine, it will not work in a power outage and thus receive the alerts on that machine unless you have a battery backup answering machine as well.

This system was used twice in this incident and worked well.



Being an Electoral Area Director in the SLRD

Yes that's me.  The current term goes until December 2018.

The Electoral Area Director receives a yearly stipend of $12,259.  

In addition, for the Standing Committee and Board Meetings you receive $156/meeting.  This amount covers preparation for and participation in these meetings.

Aside from meetings and meeting prep, I generally spend about 3 full days per week working on SLRD and community issues/concerns.

Being elected is not a job per se, so you do not receive holiday pay or benefits, however you do receive a small amount for travel time and mileage/other expenses in travelling to SLRD meetings etc is covered.

My practice has been to take approximately 7 weeks "off"  per year.  Normally I take a one month period of that after the July meeting (3rd Wednesday) to before the August meeting (3rd Wednesday).  In August we do not have any committee meetings, so it is a good time to do this.  Most of the month of August I usually am at home and have always made myself available during that month for emergency and other critical matters.  This summer that includes responding and assisting on the 45 hour power outage, the issues with the conditions on Road 40 and several other critical matters.  During all of my time off, either my Alternate , Norm Verner or our staff at the SLRD are available (1-800-298-7753) to assist with issues that come up that relate to local government.  Most other issues are Provincial in nature and outreach can be made to MLA Tegart's office.

Speaking of my Alternate!   Norm Verner has been my Alternate for a number of years now.  Norm will be "retiring" as my alternate in December.  I am looking for a new Alternate.  An Alternate fills in meetings (in person/phone) when for some reason I cannot attend.  This hasn't happened much in the years, however you need that backup in place in case something happens.  If an Alternate needs to fill in, they are paid the meeting fee, travel time and expenses.  It is a great way to be of service to you community and also learn alot about local government and how it works.

If you are interested in possibly taking over from Norm, please let me know.

And to Norm Verner, Thank You!  Your service is appreciated by us all.








2 comments:

  1. We get great value for that cheapskate $12k. Thanks for everything you do.
    Roger

    ReplyDelete
  2. Operation & Maintenance contracts include all conditions and operations need to run your power plant in a cost-efficient and secure manner. small hydro power plant cost

    ReplyDelete

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