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May 22 at Shannon Proctor-McLeod
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Fresh wind warning issued
It's like the calm between the storms.
Thousands of homes and businesses around Campbell River and the Comox Valley are still without power but Environment Canada has issued a new warning that strong winds will be doing another sweep of the region on Tuesday night.
In all, there are 245 blackouts affecting Campbell River, Courtenay and Comox, with almost 16,000 homes and businesses in the dark.
The Comox Valley outages are expected to be fixed by 4 p.m. Tuesday, but the Campbell River repairs won't be done until 11 p.m. on Wednesday night.
"We should think of recent world events like the earthquakes and tsunamis that hit Japan and Indonesia. They remind us to always be prepared for longer outages than just these small duration outages that affect us for a day or so," said Ted Olynyk from BC Hydro. "Have we got the supplies that we need? The water, the backup medication, do we have a plan to deal with any emergency?"
He says an emergency survival kit should help households through isolation for 72 hours. It should include food, a flashlight, fresh batteries and a corded phone. Cordless won't work when the power is out and cellphone batteries won't last forever.
"Last night it was quiet and cold, I had no power, I had no phone. We ate by candlelight and this morning I had a cold shower and came to work," said local resident Anna, of the Comox Valley.
"It was really the heating issue for me and aesthetics," she added with a smile. "I'm a girl after all, I wanted to come to work with my hair done."
For others the blackout was a bigger concern. Those with sleep apnea need electricity for the machines that regulate their breathing and for those more frail members of the community, lack of heat poses a serious risk.
"It was a wake up call," said Gail, another local resident. "My power came back on at six last night and by seven o'clock I ordered a generator. Just to have for when this happens. It gets too cold."
Schools reopened in the Comox Valley on Tuesday, but not in Campbell River.
School District 72 said classes would not be running at Ocean Grove Elementary, Penfield Elementary, Quadra Elementary, Cortes Elementary/Jr. Secondary, or Sayward Elementary/Jr. Secondary.
Many municipal recreation facilities are still getting back on their feet.
Click here for the latest list of BC Hydro outages and the expected time of repair.
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