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FortisAlberta makes sure lights stay on in aftermath of storm

Posted on August 9, 2022 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith

FortisAlberta reminds residents to stay at least 10 feet away from downed power lines, as they share the extent of repairs done earlier this month during the tornado and downburst event. 

Two FortisAlberta crews (approximately 8 PLTs) from the Redcliff and Taber area were dispatched, said Tanya Croft, manager of Corporate Communications for FortisAlberta. 

“All repairs to FortisAlberta facilities have been completed,” said Croft. “discovered and replaced ten poles that were damaged due to the storm; The weather event began at 1 p.m. on Monday. All customers were energized by Wednesday afternoon.” 

In an event, Power Line Technicians (PLTs) patrol the power line to inspect for causes of the downed or damaged line. Coordination begins between the field PLTs and our FortisAlberta Control Centre to obtain proper isolation through their Distributed Automation System, said Croft. 

“This includes installing protective grounds on the line and proceeding with the repair. Repairs depend on the severity of the downed line and assurance that we can make the repairs as safely and as quickly as possible,” said Croft. “For example, if the wire breaks in a certain spot but is not further damaged, we are able to pull up the wire and reconnect. If the line is downed and has considerable damage, PLTs will replace the entire span of damaged conductor.” 

Safety remains FortisAlberta’s priority, said Croft, and she encourages residents to keep up to date with planned and unplanned outages in their area, and to contact the company should they notice any downed or damaged lines so that the inspection and repair process can begin. 

“FortisAlberta’s work restoring power starts before an outage happens, we make sure we have the equipment and resources on hand before the start of a severe weather event,” said Croft. “We encourage you to check our Outage map for current planned and unplanned power outages in your service area. If you do not see an outage in your area, you can report the outage on our mobile app, or by phone at 310-WIRE.”

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