BC Hydro says fixing Nanaimo water issue is 'number one priority'
BC Hydro spokesman Ted Olynyk said at the storm's peak, more than one-third of customers on Vancouver Island were without power. Dec. 21, 2018. (CTV Vancouver Island)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, December 21, 2018 5:15PM PST
Nanaimo residents and businesses are still being asked to curtail their water use a day after a brutal storm caused issues at the city's treatment plant.
The city that Thursday's windstorm, which left thousands without power and even led to a fatality in Duncan, also caused mechanical issues with a delivery system at its water treatment plant.
As a result, it has been urging those in the Harbour City to halt all water use. It also closed pools, saying they were unable to meet health and safety regulations as people are required to shower before entering. Arenas were also closed as staff were unable to clean ice.
The city released an update at 4:30 p.m. Friday saying there was still no estimated time for a fix.
In a video message sent to residents earlier in the day, Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog thanked people for their patience.
"We're hoping to have the plant fully operation shortly, but in the meantime we're asking citizens not to use water, to waste water. Avoid using whatever wherever possible," said Krog. "This is not a day to do your laundry or run your dishwasher or have a bath or a shower if possible."
He said restricting water use will help the city prevent a boil water advisory, which would be the last step in conservation if necessary.
BC Hydro spokesman Ted Olynyk said re-establishing power to the water treatment centre was its number one priority.
"Clearly that's an issue for us and we know for the community to make sure we re-establish critical infrastructure," he said. "That's always a focus for us, and we've put a lot of resources here. We have six crews dealing with the issues that are [preventing] us from bringing the power back on to the water plant. A lot of damage, a lot of trees down, so we're putting as much as we can into the area."
Olynyk did not provide an ETA for a fix, but said he hoped it would be restored sometime Friday night.