Storm causes power outages, damage to trees, infrastructure
A powerful storm with wind gusts of more than 110 km/hr moved through Medicine Hat Saturday around 6:30 p.m. causing damage to electric infrastructure and trees.
Electric service was interrupted in the Crestwood, River Flats, East Glen, downtown, Southeast Hill, Southview Drive and College Drive areas due to downed lines and poles. Approximately 6,750 customers were without power following the storm. Power was restored to all but 256 customers by early Sunday morning.
Customers who continue to be without service Sunday are primarily located on the SE Hill, where a large tree landed on lines in the Belfast Street SE area, causing extensive damage to lines and poles. It is expected power will not be restored to those customers until Sunday evening.
“Crews were called in immediately and dispatched to assess the damage and determine the best approach to restore service,” said Grayson Mauch, Utilities Distribution Services General Manager. “We appreciate the public’s support to stay back from damaged infrastructure and provide crews the space needed to work safely.”
Crews were sent home at 4:30 a.m. to get some much needed rest and will return to work around noon Sunday.
Merrick Brown, the City’s Director of Emergency Management, said the City is communicating with partner organizations to ensure the most vulnerable receive the supports they need.
“We encourage all residents to be prepared for potential emergencies, including having a 72-hour emergency kit,” Brown said. “If anyone feels they are in a dangerous or unsafe situation during an emergency, we encourage them to call 9-1-1 to ask for assistance.”
During a power outage, residents should:
- Conserve cell phone battery power for emergency uses
- Go to a family member or friend’s residence if it is safe to do so
- Keep fridges and freezers closed
- Operate generators outside of the house only. Do not wire directly into home electrical system.
The City will be working to clear fallen City trees and branches on a priority basis to maintain public safety. Homeowners are reminded that they are responsible for trees on private property and for the removal and clean-up of associated debris. Please do not push debris onto sidewalks or streets.
- 30 -
For media interviews, please contact:
Corporate Communications Manager