Canada recovers most power

After experiencing the worst power outage in North American history, Canadian officials worked to restore electricity.

BY DANIEL YEE | OTTAWA, CANADA | August 16, 2003



"At this time, we are focusing our efforts on recovering from the power outage and ensuring the safety and security of Canadians."

—John McCallum


After experiencing the worst power outage in North American history, Canadian officials worked to restore electricity and services to areas affected by Thursday's massive power outage.

The Ontario government declared a state of emergency and Canadian and U.S. officials worked together to restore power to areas affected in both countries.

Firefighters, policemen, hydro workers, doctors and nurses provided "yeoman's service during the last 24 hours," said John McCallum, Canadian Minister of Defense, said in a statement Friday.

"At this time, we are focusing our efforts on recovering from the power outage and ensuring the safety and security of Canadians," McCallum said.

Canadian officials activated federal response operations centers at the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness. These centers are working in conjunction with related centers in Canadian agencies including law enforcement, transportation and immigration.

As of Friday, Canadian officials from Hydro One were "working hard to identify the problem and the timetable for renewal of service," McCallum said.

Ontario officials urged the public to look for ways to conserve energy and water. Province officials asked Ontario's largest industrial and commercial users of energy to remain closed Friday.

"As we work to restore power to Ontario, it's important for all of us to implement our own personal emergency management plan," said Ontario Premier Ernie Eves in a statement Friday. "While we have made progress overnight, we still have a lot to do."

Eves said that despite heavy strains placed on public services, there were "very few problems" Thursday evening.

He added that the province's first priority was to restore power across Ontario and he said nearly half of Ontario's electricity was restored Friday morning and expected two-thirds of the province's power to be restored Friday evening.

But he warned that some local outages could still exist and areas that had power could experience outages. Temporary generators would be deployed across Ontario just in case restoring power took longer than expected, Eves said.

Other areas of progress had been made, as Canadian officials Friday announced that all of the country's airports were open and flights were arriving and departing despite some delays. Officials however warned that drivers needed to be cautious when crossing rail lines because some of the electric warning gates and lights could be inoperable.

Canadian border officials worked to eliminate "significant" delays at Ontario border crossings created Thursday night and officials Friday said people and goods were moving back and forth outside of Ontario. Financial markets were open Friday but non-essential public officials were asked to remain at home.

The outage affected Canada Post's operations "at a national level," officials said.

Air service shutdowns and limited abilities to manage the postal service's ground transportation meant workers had to make adjustments to providing mail at a local level as quickly as possible.

"It was heartening yesterday to see so many average citizens pitching in and helping out," Eves said. "I don't have to tell you that this is not business as usual for the government, either."


Related Topics:

Toronto beset by flash flooding

700,000 lose power to storm

Many Canadians without power


More links on Power Outage

Advertisers:

DNN Sponsors include:

Advertisements: