Media centre details
Local FortisBC crews help with Hurricane Fiona clean-up
Oct 11, 2022
Twelve crew members are on the ground in PEI helping to restore power
Kelowna, B.C.—October 11, 2022: Twelve power line technicians and two operations supervisors from FortisBC Inc. (FortisBC) have been working in Prince Edward Island since Sunday, October 2 to help restore service to Maritime Electric Company Limited (Maritime Electric) customers who lost power after Hurricane Fiona struck the region. The electric system sustained considerable damage from the storm and, as part of their emergency response protocols, Maritime Electric put out a call for support to other electric utilities from across Canada.
“Our thoughts are with all those on the east coast and our colleagues at Maritime Electric as they deal with the aftermath of this storm,” said Shawn Conway, director of operations, FortisBC. “Our crews have extensive experience repairing damage from extreme storms on our own electric infrastructure and we’re glad to be of service.”
The operations supervisors from FortisBC are leading a crew of two dozen power line technicians, pole setters and utility-certified arborists from New Brunswick who are working to clear trees and repair lines along the coast in central Prince Edward Island. FortisBC power line technicians from Kelowna are working directly with Maritime Electric crews to repair main transmission lines, while FortisBC crews from the Kootenays and South Okanagan are working east of Charlottetown to bring power back to pockets of customers in the Georgetown region once these higher voltage lines are back in service.
“Even with our experience, it’s shocking to see so much damage—it’s hard to explain how the wind can bring down so many trees, flip RVs on their sides and tear roofs off of houses. Every line seems to have a tree on it,” said John Radies, operations supervisor, FortisBC. “The people of PEI just went through a surreal event and have been without power for days. It gives you a very good feeling to see the smiles on faces when you show up to repair power in their neighborhood, then even a bigger sense of gratification when you restore power and know you just made someone’s day.”
FortisBC joins 240 crew members from the Fortis Inc. group of companies across Canada who are helping with the restoration efforts including FortisAlberta and Newfoundland Power. The last time FortisBC crews were called in to assist outside provincial borders was when the Turks and Caicos Islands sustained considerable damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017.
“This shows the value of being a part of the Fortis group of companies — we’re able to quickly help our sister companies throughout North America and the Caribbean in the aftermath of events like these, and count on support when we experience extreme weather events,” said Conway.
Crews are expected to remain in PEI until end of this week.
With winter storm season around the corner, FortisBC customers can get further information on how to prepare for the extreme weather events that can occur closer to home at fortisbc.com/stormsafety.
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FortisBC Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost. FortisBC Inc. employs approximately 553 British Columbians and serves approximately 184,876 direct and indirect customers in B.C.’s South Interior. FortisBC Inc. owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, as well as approximately 7,304 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines. FortisBC Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. FortisBC Inc. uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information on FortisBC, visit www.fortisbc.com. For further information on Fortis Inc., visit www.fortisinc.com.