Jonathan Kozuback, Amy Prevencher, and Jen Pearson of Green Growth Ind. in Red Deer clear a downed spruce tree from the front yard of Carroll Borg’s home on Spruce Drive Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Red Deer continues work to restore power after storm

400 properties still without power

Two days after Red Deer’s wind storm 400 properties, or one per cent, were still without power and the state of local emergency was still in effect.

Up to 35 per cent of properties, about 12,000 properties, were initially without power.

The priority areas to restore power include Vanier Woods, Riverside Light Industrial, and some areas within Glendale and Normandeau.

“Approximately 15 power poles are still deemed to be damaged and our crews continue to work to remedy those as quickly and safely as possible,” said Karen Mann, deputy emergency operations director on Thursday afternoon.

Overall 40 poles were damaged by the straight-line winds on Tuesday.

She said Vanier Woods was the largest area still affected by the power outage. Once the priority areas have power, the city will focus on outage pockets in other areas.

“The estimated time of restoration right now is looking to be hopefully by Saturday morning. That’s going to be our goal. There are so many factors at play, the ongoing wind situation creates challenges and we have to make sure we do things safely in a manner that respects the urgency but also doesn’t compromise employees or residents.”

Residents in areas with overhead power lines are being asked by the city to visually inspect the meter base and power service masts located on the side of their homes that connect to the overhead power line.

She said if they see damage they should not touch the equipment, but call in an electrician.

Electric Light and Power crews are not able to reconnect fallen power lines until damages to meters on private property are repaired.

She said it would typically take up to three weeks to repair 40 power poles and restore power to 12,000 properties.

“With the dedication of our crews and additional help, we anticipate having the majority of the work completed within the next 48 hours. We will continue to update you as we go,” Mann said.

The city is tracking repair and cleanup costs, including personnel, and the total cost won’t be known for a while.

City Manager Craig Curtis said so far $150,000 in expenses have been tracked. The initial cleanup should take about five more weeks to complete and total cleanup will extend into the fall.

He said about 35 large trees were damaged in Lions Campground, but across the city hundreds of trees large and small were damaged.

People can now access Bower Ponds Recreational Area, picnic areas at McKenzie Trails, Great Chief Park, Rotary Picnic Park, Rotary Recreation Park, Heritage Square, and Lions Campground.

“While these parks are in fact open, the trails surrounding and connecting them are still closed until further notice until we have an arborist that can go out and inspect and ensure the safety of people using those trails.”

He said the Foam Fest at Heritage Ranch and Woody’s Triathalon will go ahead this weekend as scheduled.

The north snow storage facility, at 6859 Edgar Industrial Dr, is open until July 3 to collect large branches that have fallen on residential properties. Drop off is free of charge and the facility is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

People without power since Tuesday are allowed to go beyond the three-bag garbage pickup limit. Because of increased volume there may be delays in pickup.

Assistance is available for residents who require income support or food vouchers.

For up-to-date information visit the city’s website www.reddeer.ca. Call 211 or 403-342-8111 if assistance is needed as a result of the power outage.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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