UPDATE: Damage at Prince Rupert substation the cause of evening outage

The lights went out for more than 5,000 customers on the North Coast tonight, an outage that lasted approximately two hours.

The lights went out for more than 5,000 customers on the North Coast tonight, an outage that lasted approximately two hours.

The power went out at approximately 7:28 p.m. across Prince Rupert and came back on at approximately 9:30 p.m. Initially the BC Hydro site attributed the outage to a transmission circuit failure, which is described as “a transmission outage; usually affecting a large area or a number of substations”, but once power was restored the cause of the outage was changed to “other”.

“What we know is that there is broken insulators in the substation. Just at the edge of the substation there is a conductor, or power line, on the ground. We don’t know the cause of that and continue to investigate. It would be optimistic to say we will have that repaired by noon…In the meantime we are powering Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Kitkatla, Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams with the Prince Rupert generating station, which is a gas fired station, the BC Hydro Falls River hydro-generating station and an Independent Power Producer station at Brown Lake,” said Bob Gammer, BC Hydro Community Relations Manager for Northern BC.

“At this point all of our customers have power back on except those who receive power at voltage…At this point the Port of Prince Rupert, Ridley Terminals and Prince Rupert Grain are without power and we expect that to be resolved once the repairs are complete at the substation around noon tomorrow.”

Gammer notes that there is no issue with the line between Terrace and Prince Rupert and that while the public is not at risk, people are asked to stay away from the substation to allow crews to work.

Look for an update on this story as it becomes available.