Lightning blamed for blackout

Monday night's lightning storm left almost 3,000 Trail homes in the dark.

Almost 3,000 homes in the Trail area were left in the dark Monday night.

Shortly after 7 p.m. a lightning storm passing through the area caused power outages in two separate events, confirmed Grace Pickell, FortisBC communications advisor.

Damage to a portion of a transmission line just outside the Warfield substation caused a loss of power to almost 2,000 Trail residences, said Pickell.

An additional 1,000 homes were affected by a lightning arrestor failure on a distribution line in the Bay Avenue area.

“Lightning arrestors are in place to dissipate a surge of energy that accompanies a lightning strike,” she explained. “When the arrestor fails, it has done its job and is helping to keep our electrical grid safe.”

Once crews were dispatched to the sites, approximately 2,000 customers had power restored within the hour, with the majority of remaining customers having power restored an hour later, added Pickell.

The power outage did not affect homes in Rossland, Warfield, Montrose or Fruitvale.

Despite the ongoing lockout at FortisBC, the company was granted an Essential Services Order by the B.C. Labour Relations Board to maintain public safety and access to reliable electrical service.

The lockout has affected Fortis employees in generation, transmission, and distribution operations including power line technicians, electricians, and power systems dispatchers.

 

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