November 2007

The STORM…

November 20, 2007

… was fierce!

Last year the wrath of nature was visited on Vancouver and Stanley Park, this year it hit Vancouver Island. At about 3:00 am on November 12, 2007, the lights went out in Kye Bay, and most of the Comox Valley. They didn’t come back on (in my half of the bay) until 80 hours later.

Cause? Simple, a tree fell on the lines and on my fence.

There was wide-spread damage and we knew this. It’s how the repairs were handled.

Take BC Hydro… Hydro lines on the ground warrant priority service, right? Lines could be live and dangerous… Heard the warnings? “Stay back, half a block, don’t get close…”

Several neighbours called Hydro, those warnings were repeated, and every phone call got the same answer… “We are not aware of a problem in your area”. We found out soon enough that the line was not live, so everyone walked and drove over it, no other way out.

On the third day I spoke with a hydro tech in his truck about 300 yards from “the problem that didn’t exist”. He told me that all was fixed here abouts. NOT! Our little corner still had all lines down and no hydro. I actually chased the truck down and told the tech that they missed a downed line… Sorry, now it was shift change.

Called Hydro again… the fourth time! “We are not aware of a problem in your area!”. “Stay at least thirty feet away from the line! Have you called the police or fire department?” NO, I AM CALLING YOU AGAIN, BC HYDRO. THE WHOLE NEIGHBOURHOOD CALLED YOU, AND YOU STILL DON’T SEE A PROBLEM IN OUR AREA!

That’s when I lost it.

The next day the hydro line was fixed. 80 hours.

Guess what Telus said for the first three time when they were called… “We are not aware of a problem in your area”. I am not making this up. My phone works now, a week later, some still don’t.

Oh, and did you know that if you use a prepaid cell phone (I have one for emergencies…) and call the numbers locally published in the Telus Yellow Pages to report a problem with a land line, there is no way on earth that you can get through. You are caught in a separate mobility loop, land line numbers are not recognized and at night there is no living person on duty that can direct you. The number to use is: 1 888 611-9988 (in British Columbia) 611 or the 310 numbers won’t work.

Well Telus and Hydro, my neighbours and I are now very aware of A HUGE PROBLEM IN YOUR AREA!

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