Hydro One makes progress; power now restored to 170,000 customers


    TORONTO, Dec. 30 /CNW/ - Hydro One confirms it has now restored power to
170,000 customers who were impacted by Sunday's severe winter wind storm.
Another wind storm that passed through the province Monday night and Tuesday
caused power interruptions to an additional 24,000 customers. These outages
have been offset by ongoing restoration efforts with the net result being that
65,000 customers currently remain without power. More than 75 percent of the
customers impacted by the combined storms have now had their power restored.
    Again today the Company has deployed, with the help of 23 local
utilities, a workforce of 1,300 people - as many people as were deployed in
Ontario to deal with the 1998 Ice Storm. Crews from parts of southern,
eastern, and northern Ontario have now been redeployed to zero-in on
restoration efforts in harder-hit areas. Ten helicopters continue to assist
with the restoration effort, particularly in the Huntsville, Parry Sound,
Bracebridge, and Bancroft areas.
    Hydro One still expects most customers will have their power restored in
the next 24 hours; however, some customers in more remote access locations
such as islands could remain without power until January 1 or 2.
    "We have a small army, similar in size to the workforce deployed for the
1998 Ice Storm, marching across the province to restore power," said Myles
D'Arcey, Senior Vice President, Customer Operations, Hydro One. "We appreciate
the patience and understanding our customers have extended to us during this
time and want them to know that we will keep every available resource working
until power is fully restored."
    Hydro One continues to seek the assistance of contractors and a number of
local utilities to assist with its restoration efforts. Currently, 23 local
utilities from across the province are providing support to Hydro One,
including: Middlesex Power, Erie Thames Powerlines, West Coast Huron Energy
Inc., Woodstock Hydro, Norfolk Power, Westario Power, Chatham-Kent Power,
Peterborough Utilities Group, Orangeville Hydro, Hydro One Brampton, Veridian
Power, Lakefront Power, Hydro Ottawa, Barrie Hydro, Parry Sound Hydro, North
Bay Hydro, Greater Sudbury Hydro, Powerstream, Ottawa River Power, Oshawa
Hydro, Toronto Hydro, Lakeland Power and Newmarket - Tay Power Distribution
Ltd.Areas Impacted/Hydro One Customers Affected

    ---------------------------------------------
    Areas Most Impacted      Number of Hydro One
                              Customers Affected
    ---------------------------------------------
    Fenelon Falls                          1,000
    ---------------------------------------------
    Minden                                 1,700
    ---------------------------------------------
    Bancroft                              14,000
    ---------------------------------------------
    Cobden                                 3,000
    ---------------------------------------------
    Tweed                                  2,900
    ---------------------------------------------
    Arnprior                                 800
    ---------------------------------------------
    VanKleek Hill                            500
    ---------------------------------------------
    Perth                                    500
    ---------------------------------------------
    Bracebridge                            7,500
    ---------------------------------------------
    Huntsville                            11,500
    ---------------------------------------------
    Orillia                                  900
    ---------------------------------------------
    Owen Sound                             2,400
    ---------------------------------------------
    Parry Sound                           10,000
    ---------------------------------------------
    Penetang                               3,800
    ---------------------------------------------
    Manitoulin                               850
    ---------------------------------------------
    North Bay                              1,300
    ---------------------------------------------Customer Information

    Customers can report power outages by contacting our Customer
Communications Centre at 1-800-434-1235 or e-mail us at
CustomerCommunications@HydroOneNetworks.com.

    Important Safety Information

    Hydro One strongly urges people to take extra precaution near fallen
power lines. Even if a fallen wire seems dead, it can be dangerous. People are
urged to report to Hydro One the location of the fallen wires as soon as
possible. Touching a vehicle that is in contact with a power line can be
fatal.
    For the most recent information on power outages go to
www.HydroOneNetworks.com.

    Hydro One delivers electricity safely, reliably and responsibly to homes
and businesses across the province of Ontario and owns and operates Ontario's
28,000 kilometre high-voltage transmission network that delivers electricity
to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, and a 125,000 kilometre
low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.3 million end-use
customers and smaller municipal utilities in the province. Hydro One is wholly
owned by the Province of Ontario.



For further information: contact Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a
day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or (416) 345-6868; Our
website is www.HydroOne.com