09/16/2013 11:27 EDT | Updated 11/16/2013 05:12 EST

Lightening Strike: Kamloops Area Suffers Power Outages After Hydro Pole Hit

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A lightning strike in B.C.'s southern Interior is giving students in several schools at least part of the day off.

Students in the North Thompson communities of Sun Peaks, Rayleigh, Clearwater and Barriere are being told to stay home until around noon, or whenever electricity is restored.

Power was cut to about 10,000 customers in a wide area north of Kamloops just after 3 a.m., when lightning hit a transmission tower, breaking one of the tower arms.

The blacked out strip stretches roughly 300 kilometres from just outside Kamloops, north to Valemount.

BC Hydro spokesman Dag Sharman says crews must repair the transmission tower before the line can be re-energized.

He says work is underway, but lights aren't expected back on until noon at the earliest. (CHNL)

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