Rural areas go dark

More than 4,000 Central Alberta electricity customers were in the dark on Wednesday morning after separate incidents, including a power pole fire, knocked out power in the area.

More than 4,000 Central Alberta electricity customers were in the dark on Wednesday morning after separate incidents, including a power pole fire, knocked out power in the area.

Some residents in Penhold, Innisfail, Lacombe and Blackfalds lost power early in the morning after one power pole near the Penhold multiplex caught fire and another power line insulator came off the line near Blackfalds. Power for the majority of residents was restored by as early as 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Fortis Alberta spokesperson Jennifer MacGowan said the Blackfalds/Lacombe area outage was caused by a combination of rain affecting the dirt and silt on a power line, and the insulator of a pole, which eventually led to the outage.

“It is very common in the spring of every year,” said MacGowan. “It caused the insulator to burn off one of the poles.”

The incident took place in the early morning hours of Wednesday. It affected about 1,100 rural customers north and west of Blackfalds. By 3:30 a.m., almost half of the customers had their power back with full power being restored by 7:30 a.m.

Then at about 4 a.m., Penhold firefighters were called to a power pole fire near the Penhold Multiplex. Penhold fire chief Jim Pendergast said the fire was on a pole near the intersection of Hwy 42 and Waskasoo Avenue in Penhold, just across the street from the multiplex. The pole was split in half, taking out power to 3,300 customers.

Because of what could happen mixing water with electricity, they had to wait for Fortis personnel to get on scene. A home about 300 metres west from the power pole was evacuated as a precaution.

“They thought there was a spark at their house as well,” said Pendergast. “So we sent a unit to that location and checked everything out. Everything was OK.”

The house was checked with a thermal imaging camera and after no danger was found, the residents were then allowed to return.

MacGowan said the combination of dirt, silt and rain caused the pole fire.

Firefighters and local RCMP blocked off the highway until Fortis said it was OK to reopen the highway. They had to replace the pole, and that work was completed by Wednesday afternoon.

Just Posted

Concern growing over poor hay crops

Hay yields in some areas half of what it was last year

Showers on the way for Red Deer

Seasonal weather expected

Vandal strikes downtown business

Window with PRIDE poster broken

See goats in action at Piper Creek Community Gardens

Learn about fundraising efforts to rebuild the barn

No new RNs hired to Red Deer hospital emergency department in a month: United Nurses of Alberta

UNA filed a grievance in June in response to what they say is a staffing crisis

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Cull hasn’t been able to solve bunny burden in Alberta mountain town of Canmore

CANMORE, Alta. — Problems persist in an Alberta mountain town overrun with… Continue reading

Canada should help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany: civil liberties group

OTTAWA — A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Send us your photos

Your reader photo may just make the pages of the Adovcate.

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Trimming and tidying: Perennials need care too

The great attraction in growing perennial flowers is that you never have… Continue reading

Johnny Depp settles lawsuits involving former managers

LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has settled lawsuits with his former business… Continue reading

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month