TORONTO, June 9 /CNW/ - The lights are back on this evening for all but a few dozen Hydro One customers affected by the tornado that hit the Colchester and Leamington areas early Sunday morning.
At the height of the storm, more than 6,300 Hydro One customers were without power. The tornado that uprooted large trees and tore roofs off homes also caused significant damage to Hydro One's equipment. Almost 100 distribution poles and 25 pole-top transformers have been replaced, and approximately 12 kilometres of conductor (wire) restrung.
"Hydro One staff responded quickly and called in extra crews to get the power back on as quickly as possible," said Mayor John Adams of the Municipality of Leamington. "Hydro One crews have worked closely with municipal staff throughout the restoration effort and put a top priority on ensuring the safety of the public and all workers involved in the clean-up."
About 150 Hydro One staff worked around the clock on the restoration effort. About 90 per cent of affected customers had power restored within 48 hours. In the hardest-hit areas restoration is taking a bit longer. Customers whose meter bases or stacks were damaged by the storm must first have their equipment repaired, and then inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) before Hydro One can reconnect their power. Hydro One strongly advises property owners to hire only a qualified electrical contractor to make these repairs.
"Hydro One has extensive experience with emergency power restoration following storms and was a recipient of the Edison Electric Institute Emergency Recovery Award in 2007. Crews were mobilized from across south-western Ontario and have worked tirelessly day and night since Sunday to restore power to the communities affected by the tornado," said Myles D'Arcey, Senior Vice-President, Customer Operations. "Although there is still a lot of clean up work to be done, the local community can now begin getting back to business."
Hydro One delivers electricity safely, reliably and responsibly to homes and businesses across the province of Ontario and owns and operates Ontario's 29,000 km high-voltage transmission network that delivers electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, and a 123,000 km low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.3 million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the province. Hydro One is wholly owned by the Province of Ontario.
For further information: contact Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or 416-345-6868; Our website is www.HydroOne.com