Niagara-on-the-Lake was hit with a high wind storm on Wednesday March 6. In total, approximately 3,300 customers were without power at some point in a day that saw gusts reaching 100km/h.
“High winds are one of the biggest causes of outages followed by lightning storms.”, said NOTL Hydro President Tim Curtis. “Our crews worked from 7am to 9pm on Wednesday and had another busy day on Thursday finishing the cleanup.”
Outages were primarily caused by fallen trees and several broken poles. Up to 15 trees/branches fell on lines causing outages in the Old Town, St Davids and the Lakeshore Road area. Crews, along with help from our tree trimming service providers were able to clear the trees quickly and restore power to affected areas. NOTL Hydro has an aggressive tree trimming program and has on-call tree trimmers to respond in such emergency events.
A total of 10 poles were damaged during the storm. These poles were temporarily secured to restore power to main feeders, and were replaced in the following days.
The main line feeding the Old Town was down from 1:22 pm to 2:04 pm. The Smart Switches in Old Town proved to be extremely helpful when they automatically operated to restore power from another feeder to most of the customers in Old Town immediately. NOTL Hydro plans to install more of these switches in the upcoming years to help minimize outages in similar weather related events. The line feeding Lakeshore Rd and St. Davids was down from 2:10 pm to 3:34 pm. A small number of customers were without power for longer periods due to various localized issues.
“Overall, I feel the damage could have been a lot worse and we were very fortunate to get away with minimal damage and outage time,” said Line Superintendent Craig McLean. “Thank-you to ALL that were involved in the SAFE restoration of power.”