More than 2,600 South Surrey residents were in the dark for several hours Monday night, following a power outage that was caused by downed lines, then extended by a surge. (Metro Creative photo)

Cold snap not direct cause of South Surrey outage: BC Hydro

2,600 customers without power for Monday’s overnight -7.5 C

A power outage in South Surrey Monday night wasn’t caused by area residents scrambling, en masse, to crank the heat as temperatures dipped further into the negative, BC Hydro officials said.

But the fact that a lot of appliances that generate heat were likely on when the power first went off – and were therefore set to fire back up at the first charge, along with lights, dishwashers, laundry machines and whatever else residents may have been using at the time – likely extended the problem.

“We can’t 100 per cent say that it was attributed to heat,” utility spokesman Kevin Aquino said Tuesday, of the Feb. 4 outage and surge, which affected more than 2,600 customers in an area south of Highway 99, north of 24 Avenue and west of Rosemary Heights Crescent.

However, given the below-freezing chill, “we can assume that a lot of folks forgot to turn off their electronics” – a step recommended in the event of power outages to help reduce demand and make it easier for crews to restore power.

BC Hydro’s online outage list notes “Voltage Problem or Overload” as the issue.

The outage started just after 8 p.m., and was initially traced to “some equipment failure” and downed lines at the intersection of King George Boulevard and Crescent Road, Aquino said.

While crews were able to switch about 1,500 customers to a different circuit at around 11:30 p.m., “a mixture of everything” including electric-heat use resulted in a surge, Aquino said.

Full power was restored just before 3 a.m.

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