February 28th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 9
Truck downs power lines in Bellevue
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
Pass Herald Reporter
An oversized vehicle travelling on 27 Avenue in Bellevue downed five power poles on the afternoon of February 20, leaving 17 residents without power overnight.

According to Alana Antonelli, communications manager with Fortis Alberta, the outage “was a result of a large vehicle making contact with wire connected to our equipment, which subsequently pulled down five power poles.”

This caused the power to go off for 17 Fortis customers at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Fortis dispatched 15 power line technicians who worked through the night to make repairs. Power was restored in stages as repairs were completed between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. the following morning.

“We recognize this was a potentially lengthy outage for our customers so we arranged for a generator to be connected for customers who were off overnight. We appreciate everyone’s patience as crews worked through the night to get the power back on as quickly as possible while ensuring the safety of everyone involved,” wrote Antonelli in an email.

The municipal fire department arrived first on scene once the incident occurred. Fire Chief/Manager of Protective Services Jesse Fox says he was informed of the situation via 911 dispatch shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
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“When the truck caught the wires, it was like a giant just pulled the wires out,” says Fox, adding that there was “some housing” impacted and one truck was damaged. “We arrived on scene, did an initial size-up and found that there were fairly extensive wires and poles down. Our primary concern was to ensure public safety.”

Members of the fire department kept people and traffic away from the area while awaiting Fortis to arrive on scene.

“The Crowsnest Pass Fire Department went door-to-door to each one of the affected homes to make sure that they were happy to stay where they were and if they didn’t have a place to go, make arrangement for them,” says Fox.

Mayor Blair Painter says the municipality was ready to establish an emergency welcome centre if the need arose.

Most residents, says Fox, were prepared for an emergency situation such as this one.

“We find a lot of people here in Crowsnest Pass are very resilient. This isn’t the first time that they’ve been impacted by events, so they have wood stoves and warm blankets,” he says. All those things go a long ways to keep them standing on their own legs at least a 24 to 72-hour period.”
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February 28th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 9
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