What you see above is a map representing the areas affected by the power outage caused by the electrical fire in downtown Vancouver today. This was supposed to be my first day back at work after my vacation and I was all prepared to approach it with great enthusiasm. Instead, I emerged from the underground Waterfront Skytrain station at 10am to find occupants of my office tower milling about outside. I was told that the power was out.

At the time, I did not know why the power had been cut. I lingered a bit to talk to some coworkers who wanted to know how my trip went. After a while, I proceeded south to get some breakfast. As I crossed Cordova St., I noticed a great amount of white smoke coming from the Harbour Centre area. After eating breakfast, I returned to my building to find the power was still off and that the latest news was power was to be restored at 4pm at the earliest.

By this time, people on my team were making plans to assemble at the various pubs and restaurants in the area. Some mentioned venues in the Coal Harbour area while other were headed to Yaletown. I eventually met up with a friend who recently lost his job and had lunch with him. After some milling about, it was close to 3pm and there was no sign that power would be restored soon. I headed home, returning a little bit before 4pm. I spent most of the day downtown but I didn’t even have a chance to get to my desk.

As of this writing power has still not been restored to all areas affected today. In fact, if you check the BC Hydro web site, some areas are predicted to have repairs completed as late as 11pm, Wednesday, July 15, some 36 hours after the initial fire. If that is indeed true, I’ll be unable to do anything at work, meaning I get another unscheduled day off. While this does sound good in theory, the reality is I have a lot of work to get back to after my week away.

I know crews are working around the clock to get things back to normal. It will be interesting to see what the morning brings!


  1. The seemingly random power outages confuse me. Part of one city block will have power, another will not. Who wired this city? A ragtag team of chimpanzees?

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