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Smart meters will come in handy in La Niña winter: Hydro

Electronic monitoring system gives Hydro staff a leg up in finding outages

Greater Victoria will be hit hard this winter as the La Niña phenomenon makes its return, according to a prominent U.S.-based weather forecasting company.

However, Environment Canada doesn’t predict the cold, stormy weather will be as severe as Accuweather suggests.

B.C. Hydro, whose crews and infrastructure would bear the brunt of a brutal cold snap, isn’t planning any changes to its usual winter preparations.

But thanks to smart meters, it will be easier for B.C. Hydro to pinpoint outage locations, even when customers are asleep and don’t know the power has gone out, said company spokesperson Ted Olynyk.

The information will make it easier for Hydro to dispatch repair crews to the sites serving the most people, he said.

For those worried they will be caught in a deep freeze without sufficient emergency supplies to stay comfortable, Olynyk said it’s good for families to ensure they have an emergency kit to deal with natural disasters, including a major earthquake.

“People need to prepare,” he said. “Have an emergency plan for any extreme.”

La Niña, which is the opposite of El Niño, is a regular weather pattern that brings colder air than normal to Canada as well as higher than usual snowfalls to the West Coast.