Storm leaves 10,000 without power across southern Interior | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Storm leaves 10,000 without power across southern Interior

A tree brings powerlines down in Lake Country.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK: Tara Shoemaker

Schools have been forced to close and roughly 10,000 properties still have no power after winds gusting to 120 km/h swept through the southern Interior yesterday, Nov. 16.

B.C. Hydro reports more than 14,000 customers are currently without power across the Thompson-Okanagan, Kootenay, and Shuswap regions.

The storm blew in mid-afternoon and Kelowna was hit with thunder and lightning.

West Kelowna is one of the hardest-hit regions with trees bringing down multiple power lines leaving roughly 7,000 properties in the dark.

South of Kelowna, 200 properties remain without power west of Summerland, while roughly 20 separate outages have left a couple of thousand properties in Vernon and the North Okanagan without power.

Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist told yesterday's storm was mostly centred in the Central Okanagan.

"To have an intense thunderstorm like that in November is extremely rare," Lundquist said. "Even for a July or August storm that would be pretty intense."

Environment Canada received a recording from an unofficial weather station near Rotary Beach of a gust of 122 km/h. A sustained wind of 119 km/h is classified as hurricane force.

Kelowna Airport recorded 80 km/h winds.

B.C. Hydro reports that Kamloops currently has a dozen separate outages affecting roughly 250 properties.

In between Kamloops and Vernon, the entire town of Falkland is without power with more than 800 homes affected.

The power went out at Falkland Elementary School at 5 p.m. Nov. 15 and it is closed today.

Four West Kelowna schools have also closed their doors with Rose Valley Elementary, Glenrosa Elementary and Middle Schools, along with Helen Gorman Elementary all having closed due to the power outage.

In the North Okanagan, Cherryville and Lavington Elementary schools have both closed due to the outage.

For more information about power outages go to the B.C. Hydro website here.

— With files from Rob Munro

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