VANCOUVER - B.C. Hydro says it suspects a lightning strike caused widespread outages in northern and central British Columbia, but the power was back on a few hours later.

The outages began Wednesday at about 9:30 p.m. with more than 120,000 people left in the dark, including much of the city of Prince George.

Other affected communities included Vanderhoof, Smithers, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Hudson's Hope, Houston and Burns Lake.

Power was back on in Prince George within two hours, and service was restored to the remaining customers by about 3 a.m.

B.C. Hydro initially said the outages were caused by a transmission failure.

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