Weather knocks out power to thousands

Several thousand Central Albertans were in the dark Thursday as ice and hoar frost damaged power lines.

Several thousand Central Albertans were in the dark Thursday as ice and hoar frost damaged power lines.

More than 3,000 Fortis Alberta electricity customers lost power for a variety of reasons, the biggest being the weather.

Jennifer MacGowan, FortisAlberta spokesperson, said there were a number of problems on the system. The causes included ice building up on the power lines because of the frost and ice fog in the area.

Another cause of the outages was due to trees falling down on power lines and in some cases causing lines to come down.

Olds and it’s surround area were the hardest hit in the region. Customers were also affected in Lacombe and Bowden and small pockets of the Red Deer area.

Most urban residents had power fully restored by the afternoon Thursday, while rural residents were expected to have power again later in the evening.

Power line technicians were out fixing the situation as best possible, but MacGowan said because the temperature hasn’t gone above freezing, crews haven’t been able to do much about the ice.

MacGowan said people should stay away from power lines with heavy ice on them because of the potential hazards.

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