Work will prevent power outages
Okotoks: Fortis trimming trees which were causing problems
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013 06:00 am
Workers will take steps to prevent pesky power outages caused by trees falling on power lines in Okotoks after three such incidents in the past two months.
More than a thousand homes were left without power in three recent outages on Okotoks’ north end caused when trees either came in contact with power lines. The trees either broke or fell on the lines.
FortisAlberta has called in contractors to remove branches from trees located near power lines on Milligan Drive.
Merlin MacNaughton, Stakeholder Relations Manager for Fortis, said the work will remove branches along the north side of Milligan Drive, near Northridge Drive.
“We maintain, I believe it’s about a five meter clearance from the trees,” he said.
The work was to start Monday and was expected to take a couple days to complete.
The trees are located on residential properties and the company has received permission from residents to do the work.
“I believe most of these trees will be on private property,” said MacNaughton.
There have been three incidents in the past two months where broken tree branches caused power outages.
On Aug. 23, a tree fell on a power line knocking out power to 1,495 customers for half an hour in the evening. A second branch fell on a power line on Aug. 29 due to wind and lightning, affecting 1,495 customers for 20 minutes. A third power outage that lasted for about an hour and 50 minutes occurred on Oct. 10 after heavy snow caused a tree branch to dip and touch a power line.
“It’s always hard to find some of these things after the fact, because if it does hit the line the snow would come off of it and the branch would go back to its normal state where it isn’t touching the line,” said MacNaughton. “That’s probably what occurred that night.”