Work continues to restore power to 300 customers in Sudbury following storm

Hydro is expected to be completely restored in Sudbury in the coming days, following a powerful storm, but the utility company says the public can help in the process.

Monday storm knocked out power to 4,000 homes

Trees and even concrete poles were damaged in a storm on Monday in Sudbury. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

Hydro is expected to be completely restored in Sudbury in the coming days, following a powerful storm, but the utility company says the public can help in the process.

On Monday, a major storm ripped through the New Sudbury area. Environment Canada says the system was a microburst or straight line wind damage. Initially, 4,000 customers lost power.

The 100 km/h winds caused damage, including broken hydro poles, uprooted trees and snapped branches.

On Wednesday, electricity had been restored to all but 300 customers.

Wendy Watson, the director of communications with Sudbury Hydro, says the most problematic area to restore is in the Grandview and Montrose area.

She says it's not far from the intersection of Lasalle and Arthur Street, where four 20-metre poles broke and fell, causing a fire.

At the intersection of Lasalle and Arthur, Sudbury Hydro says four power poles broke. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

"There was a lot of damage there," she said.

"Accessing poles and lines, many of the poles are snapped, they're in back lots or backyards and they're hard to get to."

Crews have been brought in to assist, but Watson says customers can also help. She says some people have yards they don't want disrupted.

"They have beautifully landscaped gardens and they've got fences," she said.

"But if they don't let us back there, they're not going to get power back. We're trying to be as respectful as we can be of property, but the reality is we need that access."

Monday's storm caused massive property damage across the city, particularly in New Sudbury. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

She adds traffic has also been an issue on Lasalle Boulevard, a major street in the city.

"We actually had someone threaten our crews yesterday because we had barricades set up so we could do the work safely," Watson said.

"That's not acceptable. Try to stay away from where you know the crews are actually trying to do restoration work."

Watson says the utility isn't sure when power will be completely restored, but adds there are isolated homes that don't have power due to damage to the service mast on the building.

Wendy Watson is the director of communications for Sudbury Hydro. (Sophie Houle-Drapeau/Radio-Canada)

"That is the point at which our power lines run from the pole to your home, there's a mast that is the receiver," she explained.

"If that mast is damaged, the homeowner or the building owner has to have an electrician come and check it out, repair or replace it. Then the ESA, the Electrical Safety Authority has to do an inspection to make sure it really is safe, and it's done property before we are legally allowed to make that connection."

In the meantime, she says people can't touch power lines that are still down or trees that have fallen on them.

We get an update on how hydro crews are doing at restoring power to the areas hardest hit by the freak storm that hit Sudbury. The director of communications for Greater Sudbury Utilities Wendy Watson spoke about the work being done and some of the obstacles the crews are facing. 9:06

Watson says crews in the field have been hearing scary stories that could be fatal, including a woman who is lucky to be alive.

"She picked up a cable and moved it. She told one of our linemen that she had done this," she said.

"She's just darn lucky that the cable wasn't live because she wouldn't be if it had been energized."

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