Use of Warming Centres, ‘Pretty Typical’
The Cowichan Valley Regional District opened five warming stations in the region after the mass power outages.
The Island Savings Centre in Duncan, the Frank Jameson Community Centre in Ladysmith, the Kerry Park Arena in Mill Bay, the Fuller Lake Arena in Chemainus, and the Maple Bay Fire Hall all offered those without power a warm place to stay, a place to charge their phones and get a coffee.
The CVRD’s Emergency Program Coordinator Sybille Sanderson said two centres were well attended.
“There were a couple of them that were quite well used; Lake Cowichan Secondary School, they opened up and we really appreciated them doing that,” said Sanderson. “It was quite well used (Lake Cowichan Secondary School) and so was Frank Jameson Community Centre. The other centres were hardly used at all.
Sanderson said, “People came to plug in their cell phones and, in some places, showers were available and people really appreciated those.”
Sanderson said attendance numbers at the other facilities wasn’t surprising.
“Pretty typical in terms of the amount of usage and a lot of it depended on how long people were without power,” said Sanderson. “The Shawnigan Lake/Mill Bay area didn’t have a lot of uptake, but they get power outages more often than the rest of us, they have some real practice.”
At the peak of the storm, more than 350,000 BC Hydro customers were without power throughout Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.