January 20, 2023 Power Outage
It was another day in a winter paradise. We were on our way to go for first tracks when everything stopped. I was opening the garage door and it stopped. My honey was coming out the door when the lights stopped working.
It all just came to a crashing halt. The power was out.
Little did we know that the power would be out all day. We thought just another minor inconvenience. For my wife and me, it was just that. Our biggest issue was that we couldn’t do laundry for the guests arriving this evening.
The biggest immediate concern was if the lifts were running.
I never really thought about the impact such a widespread power outage would have on a small community. It is the worst natural disaster Big White has ever dealt with. Our reliance on power is unfathomable until we are faced with the reality of the situation. My wife and I are lucky to be able to go to town and get back to all the modern conveniences we take for granted. We passed the spot where the tree fell and cut power to the resort. Wow, that is all I can say.
There are up to five thousand beds at Big White Ski Resort. So that means thousands of people are without power for as long as fourteen hours. During the day people could keep busy and ski the mountain – if they wanted to wait in lines that stretched up to forty minutes long. But for the most part, the ski hill was filled with people having fun.
I warned my guests, who were coming they wouldn’t have power until 10 pm. They understood and were going to take their time arriving. What about all the other vacationers sitting without power?
The restaurants can’t open and no one can cook. Hundreds of families have very few options, they have no vehicle and no way to feed themselves. Kids will be getting cranky and there is nowhere to get any food.
As I write this it is 5:45 pm. Dinner time for many people. The Woods BBQ is open for another fifteen minutes. There is no heat and no building with emergency generators functioning. Earlier in the day The Woods ran out of burgers. They went to Happy Valley and stocked up but they will run out again.
Does the management of Big White simply drive back to their warm homes in Kelowna and leave the guests of Big White to fend for themselves? I’m sure they appreciate the magnitude of this natural disaster. They must realize their responsibility goes beyond keeping the lifts running.
I wonder if there is anything I could do to help? Should I load up my truck with a generator and pick up a bunch of pizzas and chicken and some vegan food and head back to the hill? I’m tempted, but it is not my responsibility. If I worked for the lift company I would have already done that. But I don’t and I do work somewhere else early tomorrow.
We shall see what the next five hours bring. I hope the families visiting the mountain make it through without too much stress and discomfort.
To be continued…