By RENEE FRANCOEUR
A power outage in the Penhold area Sunday afternoon was caused by a sudden and intense lightning storm.
The lights went out just after 1 p.m., directly impacting 1,900 area residents, said Jennifer MacGowan, director of communications for Fortis Alberta.
Lightning hit one of Fortis’ main lines between the Fas Gas station and railway tracks in Penhold.
All of Penhold was in the dark, including residents in the rural areas west of the town.
Crews were on the scene to repair the line within the hour.
Seventy customers remained without power until around 3:30 p.m., said MacGowan.
After Fortis repaired their line, Central Alberta Rural Electrification Association Ltd. noticed one of their own transformers in a Penhold substation had also blown up because of lightning, said Chelsey Schatschneider, CAREA area service administrator.
The two companies share a number of connected lines in the Penhold area.
The transformer left about 12 Fortis customers without power for a few more hours while repairs were being made.
As many as 100 CAREA customers were without power until around 8 p.m., said Schatschneider.
The lightning was initially thought to have also affected Gasoline Alley in the south of Red Deer.
Doug Simon, a manager at Glenn’s Restaurant in Gasoline Alley, said they heard the big clap of thunder Sunday afternoon but their power only flickered.
Simon said Cindy’s Gifts and Fashion Accessories Boutique and the Donut Mill next door also had their power flicker only momentarily.