Thousands in region without power following freezing rain
By Sue Tiffin
Published Jan. 24, 2018
Hydro One customers in Minden, Parry Sound and Huntsville were the most impacted after freezing rain on the night of Jan. 22 caused 14,000 outages across the province.
“At the peak of the freezing rain, the Minden and Haliburton areas had more than 80 outages affecting 5,300 customers,” Nancy Clark, communications officer, told the Minden Times on the morning of Jan. 23. At that time, power restoration for some in the area was estimated for the evening of Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. though many residents were reporting earlier restoration was taking place.
“Our crews are going to be working throughout the day today and into tomorrow for any outstanding outages to restore power to our customers as quickly as possible,” said Clark.
Carla Hill’s husband, Mike, is one of those crew members.
“I knew as soon as it started last night, he would disappear again for days,” said the Minden resident, who was also without power and isn’t sure of what time he left in the middle of the night, because her clock wasn’t working.
“I am proud of my husband,” she said. “I know when weather gets bad, he has a tough job to do and we manage. He doesn’t need to worry about us at home, but keep his brothers safe. He knows I can manage and they need to stay focused on work and not home. But I miss him when he is gone. It’s hard when he goes.”
Trish Hogg on Scotch Line Road. said her power went out just after 11 p.m. on Jan. 22.
When she spoke to the Minden Times, she said, “right now, 13 hours without Hydro and counting, and my house is 12 degrees.”
Hogg said Hydro crews were around the area, and thought the power might come on earlier than the estimate suggesting restoration two days later, but in the meantime, had a plan to stay warm.
“We have friends that are going to lend us a generator to hopefully run the furnace at least,” she said. “We’ve had offers from friends to stay at their places where they have Hydro, too. The small town life of everyone helping each other is great.”
In Gelert, Sonja Marx’s power went off at around 10 p.m. She said that although her family was not prepared to have the power go off, they were equipped with emergency supplies and could rely on their wood stove to keep the house warm and prevent freezing pipes.
“Because of no power, I had to melt snow and find puddles to accumulate water to get a couple bucketfuls for the animals (chickens, rabbits, ducks),” she said. “As for the family, I always keep a few jugs of clean bottled water in the house for such emergencies.”
About a decade ago when a tornado impacted the area, Marx said she lived without power for five days.
“We know that it is very possible to live for a few days and make the best out of it,” she said. “Just keep clean water in the house at all times and keep wood in the house for the stove. As for cooking, we have the Barbecue and can also boil water on the wood stove in the house. We enjoy the quiet time, really. It makes for lots of fun family games by candlelight. Things could always be worse, I think.”
The last storm that caused multiple power outages for the Minden area was on Oct. 15, resulting in more than 25 outages that affected 1,600 customers, according to Clark.