Saskatoon emergency measures revamped after power outage
Residents frustrated at lack of information during blackout
The City of Saskatoon says it plans to look carefully at how it responds to emergencies after a blackout left three neighbourhoods without power during freezing temperatures.
On Sunday night, homes in Nutana, Varsity View and Haultain neighbourhoods were without power for three hours, while temperatures dipped to -40C with the wind chill.
Many people phoned the City of Saskatoon for more information, but received a busy signal.
Residents were also frustrated with the city's response on the internet, saying that updates didn't provide much information, were far apart and were hard to find.
Now, the city says it plans to change its strategy.
"Within the first 30 minutes of an outage, we're going to get something pushed out onto our website so people can get that information if they're looking for it," said General Manager of Utility Services Jeff Jorgenson. "We're also going to be increasing the capacity of the phone system."
At last night's council meeting, Councillor Charlie Clark said it was obvious changes were needed."
"What was clear is that we lacked a strategy on communications, and yesterday there was no clear sign of who's got the ball," he said.
Jorgenson said the city was going to try to make important service updates more visible on the website, to make them easier to find.