UPDATE: B.C. Hydro spokesman Ted Olynyk says last night's outage was attributed to a malfunctioning 50-year-old piece of equipment at the Horsey substation in Victoria.
"At first, we didn't know the exact cause and duration of the outage. We didn't know how long it was going to last, but fortunately our crews brought the power back on in just over an hour," Olynyk said.
The freezing temperatures did play a factor in the equipment problem at the substation, which is one of the oldest on Vancouver Island, he said.
"Normally, a substation should be able to handle that sort of (electricity) load. For some reason, the cold weather and increased load, it wasn't able to handle it."
The equipment is slated to be replaced within the next year, Olynyk said, while all necessary adjustments have been made on the current device.
At its peak, 54,000 customers in Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay were without power. Most customers had power restored within the hour.
UPDATE : By 6 p.m. Dec. 5, more than 35,000 homes and businesses in Greater Victoria had their power restored after a massive outage that occurred just after 4:30 p.m.
Some 16,000 homes are still without power.
B.C. Hydro has not yet confirmed the cause of the outage.
Below is an updated screenshot of outages in the area.
Just before 5 p.m. Thursday the power went out in Greater Victoria taking heat and lights with it. B.C. Hydro is reporting the outage is due to a problem at a BC Hydro substation.
More than 54,000 customers are affected.
Traffic in the downtown core is heavy and slow at this time (5:30 p.m.) with the commuter rush increased by frustrated Christmas shoppers.
B.C. Hydro is estimating the power will be back on by 6 p.m. tonight.
More to come.