Power off, many stores closed Saturday. All normal in north end.

  • Sep. 4, 2013 4:00 p.m.

It looks like almost all stores, restaurants and services at the south end of Graham Island will be closed this Saturday (Sept. 7), as BC Hydro plans a 10-hour power outage. With the power set to go out at 7 am and not come back on until 5 pm in Queen Charlotte, Skidegate and Tlell, almost every business contacted by the Observer said they had no choice but to close. Several businesses mentioned that the Saturday outage will mean lost wages for employees and lost sales. BC Hydro usually schedules planned outages for Sundays, but picked a Saturday for this one to save on overtime costs. Meegan’s Store in downtown Queen Charlotte is one of the few that will be open. Thanks to a back-up generator, the store will be open regular hours on Saturday. Causeway Convenience store in Charlotte also has a generator, and plans to open a bit later than usual, around 10 am, then stay open for the rest of the day. The pharmacy in the hospital will also be open, from 10 am until 2 pm, as the hospital has back-up power. Taaw Naay gas station in Skidegate will be open as soon as the power comes back after 5 pm, and Oceana restaurant in Charlotte said it plans to open for dinner. J & T restaurant, also in Charlotte, said it may be open for dinner. Places we contacted that will be closed all day Saturday include City Centre, Gwaii Co-op, Isabel Creek and Crow’s Nest grocery stores, the Haida House at Tllal, Jags Beanstalk, Oceanview restaurant, the Purple Onion, Queen Bs, Charlisle, AMS Building Centre, Funk It, Northern Savings Credit Union, the government Liquor Store, Charlotte Island Tire, the Haida Heritage Centre and the library in Queen Charlotte. The Charlotte post office is a maybe. The full-day outage is required for Hydro crews to conduct vital tests on the submarine cables that carry power from Moresby to Graham Island. The tests scheduled for Sept. 7 will reveal whether the cables can be rejuvenated or whether they need to be completely replaced.