Donna Schneider sent an email into the BC HwyCams office, here is the reply she received.
Thank you for your email regarding the BC HwyCams on Hwy 28 (Gold River Highway).
I understand how frustrating this is, especially in your role in the BC Emergency Health Services to northern Vancouver Island.
It is also frustrating to us, because the ongoing vandalism of several of the BC HwyCams on the island. Sadly the Gold River camera system is one that is a target. We are continuing to implement strategies to secure this system and hope to complete this soon.
In regards to seasonal issues affecting the BC HwyCams, it is a problem, particularily in areas where there is no available power or cellular coverage such at the Gold River BC HwyCam.
In such cases we have to rely on solar and satellite communications –unfortunately these systems are affected by extreme precipitation, snow, ice and low dense cloud cover. If there is not enough available sunlight to charge the batteries, they eventually run down until the sun breaks thru. This is generally not a problem because the batteries can continue to power the system for several weeks before they become too depleted. Charging capacity can be affected if the solar panels become covered in snow and ice, so it can takea bit longer for the thaw to clear the panels.
Satellite communications systems are more sensitive to heavy rain or snowfall for periods of time as the signal can not reach the satellite to transfer the images to our system. This can cause the transmission delayed message you’ll see on some cameras.
To read more about how cameras are affected by weather on the Fall and Spring ‘shoulder seasons’ on the TranBC blog.