Hydro One crews cleared more than 50,000 trees, replaced over 180 poles, 41 transformers, 141 cross arms and km of line to restore power to more than 125,000 customers after a daunting weekend of weather that brought freezing rain, lightning strikes, high winds and finally flooding.
"At times it felt like Mother Nature was really challenging us, but we threw everything we had at this storm and have returned power to our communities," said Jon Rebick, vice president, Provincial Lines and Forestry, Hydro One. "We faced this adversity with our customers, we know how much everything depends on electricity."
"With a repair job this big, simple math makes the decision of who gets their power back on first. If a customer is affected by a problem that affects a lot of people, they will get restored first," said John "Storm Boss" Hamilton, Grid Operations Manager, Hydro One. "We work our way through the repair list and assign resources based on where we can get the largest amount of people back on at one time. We know it's very hard to wait and really appreciate our customers understanding."
Customers kept the call center busy with 150,000 calls, an average of 35 calls per minute, across the five days.
The clean-up job will continue as trees and equipment weakened by the storm will continue to cause outages and crews will go back to spots where temporary repairs were made and bring them up to the full standard. Crews, many of whom have been away from their families since the outages began will head home once the work is done.
A workforce of more than 1200 was out in force this holiday weekend, traveling from as far away as Sudbury and the Ottawa Valley to tackle a relentless rebuilding effort in weather that seemed to try a new tactic every day. Other Ontario utilities joined Hydro One crews through mutual assistance agreements, including: Haldimand Hydro, Festival Hydro, Woodstock Hydro, Erie Thames Hydro, Niagara Peninsula Hydro, Ottawa Hydro, Brampton Hydro One, Peterborough PUC, Midland PUC and Sudbury Hydro.
Crews have been working hard throughout the holiday braving the cold and ice to bring power back to our customers pic.twitter.com/pvLeOvFjBy— Hydro One (@HydroOne) March 27, 2016