Power returns to Hamilton homes after Saturday setbacks

After nearly eights days of nagging power outages, the effort to restore power to Hamilton-area homes in the wake of last weekend’s ice storm is virtually complete.

Transformer fire led to dark night for thousands

After nearly eight days of nagging power outages, the effort to restore electricity to Hamilton-area homes in the wake of last weekend’s ice storm is virtually complete.

Hydro One said all but a few rural Hamilton residences without power on Sunday morning.

“Crew have been dispatched to attend to those,” said company spokeswoman Nancy Shaddick.

The remaining customers might be people awaiting inspection from the Electrical Safety Authority, she noted. 

Hydro One had said earlier that full service would be restored to Hamilton by Saturday night, but overnight hiccups thwarted workers from achieving that goal. 

Around 11:30 p.m. ET, a transformer fire at Hydro One’s Dundas station resulted in a power outages that left thousands of Dundas, Ancaster and Flamborough residents in the dark.

Service returned around three hours later, after power was rerouted from other areas in the system, Shaddick said.

The fire “self-extinguished,” she said, adding crews will work to repair the damaged equipment in the coming year.

It's now been a over a week since the big ice storm turned off the lights, heat and, in some cases, water to hundreds of thousands of customers in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Officials in Toronto say they are nearing the return of heat and light to customers who have been without power for eight days, but New Brunswick's power utility is worried a winter storm bearing down on Atlantic region will cause new problems.

The latest tallies show power is still out for about 7,400 customers in Toronto, just under 7,000 in New Brunswick, and 7,300 in Quebec.

In Quebec, the outages have fluctuated as crews turn off power in some areas while working to safely return it to others.

A warming trend in Ontario has created extra hazards for hydro crews.

Falling ice caused at least one injury on Saturday when a Hamilton worker was struck in the head, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said.

"This is Day 7 and there's light at the end of the tunnel," said Ford in an interview with CBC News midday Saturday. "What that day is, I cannot tell you… We're trying our best."


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