Remote parts of rural eastern Ontario could wait weeks for power restoration

A Hydro One spokesperson says some people living in remote parts of rural eastern Ontario could be waiting weeks to have power restored after last Saturday’s devastating and deadly storm.

Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s “CFRA Live with Andrew Pinsent”, Richard Francella said the more remote areas of the province require extra equipment.

“We do anticipate that those customers in those rural, remote and island locations where you need specialized equipment like boats and helicopters, in the Perth and Bancroft areas, we do anticipate those customers to be without power for several more days,” Francella said. “In the Tweed area, just due to the extent of the damage, in those hard-to-reach areas, we anticipate a small number of customers to be without power for several more weeks.”

Tweed, Ont., about 40 km north of Belleville, suffered significant damage during the derecho storm last week.

“In Tweed, from what we’ve heard from a crew member, it’s easier to count the number of poles still standing than those on the ground. The damage is quite extraordinary,” Francella said.

Hydro One says more than 1,900 hydro poles across southern and eastern Ontario were damaged or destroyed by the storm. A typical storm does only a fraction of that kind of damage, Francella said.

There are about 25,000 Hydro One customers who remain without power across Ontario as of 11 a.m. Saturday, largely in the eastern portion of the province. More than 720,000 customers have had power restored in the last week.

“We are continuing to make that progress but our crews will not stop until every single customer is restored,” Francella said.

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