Power surge causes damage

Trout Creek residents lost furnaces and appliances as a result of a power surge last week.

A large tree at the Summerland Museum cracked following a heavy snowfall overnight on Nov. 25 to 26. The snowfall also resulted in a power surge which damaged furnaces

Trout Creek residents lost furnaces and appliances as a result of a power surge last week.

A heavy snowfall overnight on Nov. 25 to 26 led to the power surge.

The snowfall also resulted in downed trees and power outages elsewhere in Summerland.

“It’s affected hundreds of homes,” said Devon van der Meulen, manager of utilities for the municipality.

“It’s still a little early to determine the full extent of the damage.”

Van der Meulen said municipal crews responded to numerous power outages, with the first call at 1 a.m.

In addition to the outages, power surges did damage to some of the electrical meters, as well as to computers, appliances and electrical equipment.

Mary Trainer, who lives on Miller Street in Trout Creek, said many of her neighbours lost appliances or experienced damages from a power surge on Nov. 26. The surge occurred between 8:30 and 9 o’clock that morning.

Trainer said all except one of the houses on her street were affected, as well as at least five others in the area.

In one new house on Dale Avenue, all appliances were destroyed. In another house, on Kirk Street, the heat pump was lost.

Trainer’s house was built in 2008 and had a power surge protector included in the construction.

“That was fried, but it did its job,” Trainer said, adding that her furnace and appliances were not damaged.

Christine Micallef, a Trout Creek resident, said she estimates $20,000 in damages in her home. Her furnace and major appliances were damaged after the power surge.

She is now working to determine if the appliances can be repaired.

Van der Meulen said power outages do not normally result in the surges which occurred last week.

Don Darling, director of engineering and public works for the municipality, said the power spike was confined to an area of around 200 homes in the Giant’s Head area and Trout Creek area. The homes all receive electrical power from one power line.

Of the homes in the area, around 50 sustained damages resulting from the power surge.

Municipal staff are working to determine what happened to cause the power surge.