Most customers' power restored after NYE storm, 35 remain in the dark

BC Hydro says crews made ``significant progress'' Saturday in restoring power to those left in the dark since a New Year's Eve snowstorm. BC Hydro says only 35 customers in Johnsons Landing area of Lardeau Valley still have their power out.

Some customers have been without power since Dec. 31,  after a night of heavy and wet snowfall caused widespread outages affecting 160,000 people.

Another dump of snow early Saturday knocked out power to thousands more.

Wintry conditions in isolated parts of the province made repair efforts challenging.

"The rural location of the damage and snow-covered roads that are still being cleared is making restoration more challenging. Snow is up to three feet in places and crews are having to clear roads and dig around equipment in order to make repairs," BC Hydro wrote on its website.

On Saturday the majority of affected customers were in the Thompson-Shuswap area, the Lower Mainland and the Sunshine Coast, and Vancouver Island North.

In a tweet, BC Hydro wrote that it's asking customers in the hardest hit areas to prepare for the possibility of being without power throughout the weekend.

It said crews made "significant progress'' repairing damage overnight in Thompson-Shuswap area, where it is bringing in more crews and resources to assist.

In the community of Bella Coola, BC Hydro says several broken poles caused an outage for about 300 customers and it is working to bring in additional crews to the area. However, heavy snow and road closures due to high avalanche risk are making access difficult. BC Hydro says it hopes to have power restored in the area by 6 p.m. PT Sunday.