Effects of Sandy leaves thousands without power in Kincardine


 By Barb McKay


Strong winds weren’t entirely to blame for a municipality-wide power outage last Monday night.



Independent Reader Bill Ireland of Formosa took this photo of the breakwall in Kincardine during last Monday's storm.



Power was shut off to nearly 6,000 customers in the Kincardine area around 8 p.m. so that Hydro One crews could repair a pole that was broken last Monday afternoon when the remnants of Hurricane Sandy hit the area, bringing with it 15 millimetres of rain and winds that surpassed 70 kilometres per hour between Monday night and Tuesday morning. The outage lasted until nearly 1 a.m. Tuesday in some areas of the municipality.


“It wasn’t a planned outage exactly; it was an emergency outage,” said Nancy Shaddick, a spokesperson for Hydro One. “We did try to notify customers that we were doing that work.”


Shaddick said when Hydro One needs to turn off power to do repairs auto dial notifications are sent out to customers and faxes are sent to local media outlets. At the time of the Kincardine outage, Hydro One crews were working to restore power to 30,000 customers across the province that had lost power from the storm. That number peaked at around 90,000 by Tuesday morning.


Monday night’s outage affected 3,400 Westario Power customers in Kincardine, the hydro company’s president said.


“We were out simply because we lost supply from Hydro One,” said Lisa Milne.


Westario Power was forced to shut off hydro to 320 customers in the Mahood Johnston Drive area on Tuesday morning from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. to fix a damaged hydro pole. Milne said the company did its best to notify customers on short notice by issuing reports via radio and by posting a notice on its website. She said it was impossible to give further advance notice to customers because the outage was unplanned.


“When crews arrived on site Tuesday morning they discovered the broken hydro pole,” Milne said.


Wind gusts knocked down trees in Kincardine and Huron-Kinloss Township Monday night. Huron-Kinloss public works manager Hugh Nichol said Bruce Beach Road between Concession 8 and 10, as well as part of Victoria Road in Point Clark were closed for a couple of hours Tuesday as crews worked to clear downed trees.


“Most of (the damage) was concentrated along the shoreline,” Nichol said.


As of Thursday public works employees were still working to remove debris. A contractor was called in to assist with some of the larger trees.


“We still have some left, but at least we have it off the roads,” Nichol said Thursday.