Veridian updates its community power outage status report

AJAX, ON, Dec. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Veridian has successfully restored power to the majority of its customers in the communities that were affected by last weekend's severe ice storm. There are, however, approximately 100 customers that are still without electricity service due to equipment damage on their premises. Veridian's service crews and outage hotline will continue to be available until all affected customers have their electricity restored.

"I would like to sincerely thank our customers in the communities of Ajax, Clarington, Pickering and Port Hope for their continued patience and understanding as our crews continue to restore power as quickly but as safely as possible," says Veridian President and CEO Michael Angemeer. "It has been a difficult and trying time for everyone affected by what has been one of the most extreme weather events we've seen in a very long time. It's been truly remarkable to see the hard work and determination of everyone involved to get the communities back to their normal state."

It has been a week since freezing rain and ice downed trees and branches on overhead wires, leaving approximately 60,000 Veridian customers without power. Immediately following the storm, Veridian deployed all available crews to the affected areas, working around the clock and through the holidays with support from Lakeland Power, Orillia Power, Oshawa PUC Networks Inc., Parry Sound Power, Peterborough Utilities, Whitby Hydro, tree trimming operators and contractors.

Angemeer also thanked Veridian staff and others for their commitment and dedication to the company's restoration efforts, most of whom forfeited planned vacations and worked 16 hour days all week to contribute to the restoration work. "I applaud everyone - from emergency response crews working long hours and in difficult conditions, to operators and call centre staff answering hundreds of phone calls and emails. But the work isn't quite done, we still have some customers without power and we're not stopping until every single home has their power restored."

Board Chair Doug Dickerson took the opportunity to recognize municipal partners and businesses that went above and beyond the call of duty during the storm. "A huge thank you to the mayors, councillors and support staff for supporting Veridian's customer communications, providing warming centres to those who needed relief, and assisting with the removal of hazardous trees and branches. And for the businesses who provided crews with materials, lodging and meals - I personally thank you. The goodwill by so many has not gone unnoticed, and has played a major role in keeping our restoration efforts moving along."

While Veridian continues to be committed to restoring power to all affected customers as quickly as possible, equipment damage affecting individual customers may result in prolonged power outages. In some cases, repairs to customer owned meter bases and service masts (see picture below) must be completed before Veridian is able to restore service to individual customers. The repair or replacement of such equipment must be carried out by a licensed electrical contractor retained by the customer. Approved contractors can be found at http://applications.dmtispatial.com/esa/ or by calling ESA at 1-877-372-7233.

Veridian is warning customers that they could experience short terms outages as restoration efforts continue, and warmer temperatures may result in chunks or sheets of ice falling from trees and coming into contact with Veridian's distribution system.

Customers are reminded to exercise extreme caution around damaged poles and downed wires. All fallen wires should be considered live and dangerous. Customers are urged to report the locations of fallen wires to Veridian's 24-hour Outage Hotline by calling 1-866-579-6819.

Veridian Connections Inc. safely and reliably delivers electricity to more than 116,000 customers in the Cities of Pickering and Belleville, the Towns of Ajax, Port Hope and Gravenhurst, and the communities of Uxbridge, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Orono, Port Perry, Beaverton, Sunderland and Cannington. Veridian Connections Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Veridian Corporation. The City of Pickering, the Town of Ajax, the Municipality of Clarington and the City of Belleville jointly own Veridian Corporation.

SOURCE Veridian

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