May 30th, 2024

Weather-related power outage affects more than 1,200 customers

By BRENDAN MILLER on May 8, 2024.

Utility crews work to repair damaged power lines along Scholten Hill on Tuesday afternoon. The roadway remained closed throughout the day with crews restoring power to a large portion of the city just after 1 p.m.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

bmiller@medicinehatnews.com

The lights were out in several businesses and homes Tuesday morning as utility crews worked to restore power and repair downed lines near Scholten Hill following weather-related damage.

Shortly after 6 a.m. the city reported more than 1,200 consumers had lost power in a section of the city that included parts of the Southeast Hill, South Flats, Crestwood and South Ridge.

Three hours later at 9:20 a.m. the city reported power was restored for a short period of time, but following additional challenges discovered on scene, a second outage was reported.

Before 10 a.m. the city said crews identified and isolated the lasting concern. Shortly after 1 p.m. power was fully restored to all customers as crews continue to repair work to prevent future rain and wind damage.

City officials said crews finished repairs late in the afternoon shortly after 4 p.m. when Scholten Hill was reopened for traffic.

Medicine Hat College closed campus Tuesday as a result of the power outage due to health and safety risks.

Everyone with the exception of essential support staff was asked to leave the campus. An all-day educational program that cultivates appreciation of Indigenous cultures called KisKihkeyimowin was postponed.

The college is expected to reopen today with limited IT functionality at both its Medicine Hat and Brooks campuses.

“Including no wi-fi or network connectivity, network drive access, or POS system functionality,” reads an online statement. “Cloud systems including Blackboard, SharePoint, MS Teams, email and Unit4 will be available.”

The outage also affected several business in the area which were unable to open, including the Medicine Hat News office.

Through social media, several businesses including Integrity Spinal Care, Vape Industries, Freddie’s Paint and the Saamis Employment & Training Associations office announced closures due to the power outage.

Environment Canada is expected to lift its rainfall warning later today and rainfall is forecasted to taper off in the afternoon. Up to 70 mm is expected is some areas before the rain tapers off.

The city advises residents who come across a downed power line to stay at least 10 metres back and contact emergency services.

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