Telus tower powered down during incident

Power to the Telus communications tower in Red Deer was temporarily shut down by the company after a man climbed it Friday night.

Power to the Telus communications tower in Red Deer was temporarily shut down by the company after a man climbed it Friday night.

While cell phone service wasn’t affected, it could have had an impact on coverage in the area, Telus spokesman Chris Gerritsen said Saturday.

The tower, located in Highland Green, is protected with a tall fence and strong locks but the person was determined to gain access, he said.

“It’s a highly secure site.”

Powering down the tower would have forced other towers in the area to carry a higher than normal volume of customers, he said.

At about 8 p.m. Friday evening the City of Red Deer put out a message on social media, Twitter in this case, that stated: “Telus is asking Red Deerians to limit cell service for the next few hours in the city other than emergencies due to a main tower issue.”

About an hour later the city tweeted: “Thanks for your assistance, Red Deer, you may resume full cell phone usage.”

Gerritsen said the power was turned off at the tower as a precaution.

“First and foremost we’re relieved this didn’t end in tragedy … we were contacted by emergency responders and we supported them.”

“It’s an extremely dangerous thing to do. There’s a lot of electricity going to the tower.”

A thunderstorm rolled through Red Deer at about the same time as well.

The incident ended after a couple of hours, and no other details were provided.

The Advocate was unable to reach Red Deer RCMP for further details about the incident.

There is an active investigation and Telus is working with law enforcement, Gerritsen said.

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