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FortisAlberta responds to mass outages caused by high winds across Alberta

May 25, 2017, 04:43 AM

In response to a major storm that has occurred in the province today, customers across the FortisAlberta service area have experienced outages caused by high winds and trees falling on lines. In response to this event, FortisAlberta deployed more than 300 Power Line Technicians to make repairs and restore power in affected areas.

“In times of major storm events like this, we’re able to quickly pull resources from other service points from across the province to join in the restoration efforts,” says Cam Aplin, Vice President, Operations. “So far, crews have done a great job of battling the elements, keeping themselves and the public safe and restoring power to as many customers as possible.”

At the height of the storm, approximately 44,500 FortisAlberta customers were without power, primarily in the areas surrounding Edmonton, Red Deer and Strathmore, and in multiple pockets in central and northern Alberta.

As of 9:30 p.m., more than 17,000 customers were without power and of those, 10,000 are expected to remain off overnight before crews can continue to safely make repairs to damaged lines. All customers are expected to have service restored by 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 25.

FortisAlberta reminds customers for their safety that if they come across a downed power line, to stay at least 10 metres away and alert the company by calling 310-WIRE (9473). In the event of a dangerous or emergency situation, customers should immediately call 9-1-1.

For each power outage event, FortisAlberta prioritizes the safety of the public and its employees by first assessing the cause of the outage. Once the damage is assessed, an action plan is developed that ensures everyone’s safety. Focus then shifts to high-priority sites such as hospitals and other critical infrastructure. Next, restoration efforts are focused on those parts of the system that will restore power to the greatest number of customers possible. Once the main lines have been repaired, work takes place on secondary lines.

Through its centralized Control Centre, FortisAlberta has visibility of its distribution system through which it can effectively deploy its resources and provide real-time updates to customers through its website and mobile app. Outages can be reported through the mobile app or by calling 310-WIRE.

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