Blown over: A construction fence around the perimeter of the Chances Gaming Centre construction site toppled on to the Trans-Canada Highway due to heavy wind.

Blown over: A construction fence around the perimeter of the Chances Gaming Centre construction site toppled on to the Trans-Canada Highway due to heavy wind.

Wind gusts knock out power

More than 500 Salmon Arm residents were left without power Sunday.

Cold air blew in on strong winds Saturday afternoon, knocking down hydro lines and leaving 554 residents out of power in Salmon Arm.

The wind out of the southwest blew well above Salmon Arm’s average of five kilometres an hour to about 33 kilometres.

A strong gust of 57-km per hour recorded at 3 p.m. March 14 didn’t break records but tied one set in 2002.

“A Pacific frontal zone that was draped across the province from Vancouver all the way through to Jasper moved to the southeast,” says Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Coldwells. “It was 18 C at 3 p.m. and, by 6 p.m., it was down to 14 C and it only got to 11 on Sunday.”

Coldwells says the ridge of high pressure that gave last week’s warm temperature has shifted a bit south, so the weather pattern for this week is cooler with more chances for showers.

Meanwhile, Mary Anne Coules, spokesperson for BC Hydro, said all of the 554 Salmon Arm residents and 857 customers in Sicamous and area had power restored by late Sunday evening.

Coules’ response to an inquiry about whether or not BC Hydro has activated the smart meter system that was touted as a one that would pinpoint the exact location of every outage was contained in an email statement:

“We are still completing the installation of the new system in some areas. That’s why we continue to ask customers to call to let us know when their power is out. We would rather get the information twice than not at all.”