LETTER – Snow wreaks havoc on lines

I am writing to extend my sincere thanks to your readers and all ATCO Electric customers for their patience, understanding and words of encouragement May 19-24 as ATCO Electric crews worked to restore power to customers after the snowstorm that swept through our northwest region.

Extreme weather conditions are a fact of life in Alberta but the snow was unexpected for our crews and our customers, considering our recent experience with wildfires in the same area.

The widespread storm, with snowfall of up to 50 cm in some locations, downed power lines and damaged structures, creating almost 600 outage events and affecting more than 11,000 customers.

Many of these structures are located in rural and remote areas, required crews to travel by foot over snow-covered and rugged terrain.

At the peak of activity we had over 200 people working in the field across our service area to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

The loss of electrical service, especially for extended periods, can have significant personal and business consequence for our customers.

We understand that and organized our resources to allow for recovery work to occur around the clock, while still keeping our number one focus on safety for our people and public.

Due to the extent of the damage in some locations, we made temporary repairs to get the power back quickly and will complete the permanent repair work over the next couple of weeks.
Paul Goguen,
Senior Vice President & General Manager,
ATCO Electric Transmission Division.

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