An announcement by Hydro One – that it’s cutting power to thousands of County residents for eight hours this Sunday (Nov. 24) – has drawn mixed reviews across the Highlands.

Some are appreciative the company is making improvements. Others are upset the cut is coming on a winter’s day and forced the cancellation of some events. Still others are offering a sanctuary for people to go to if they are affected by the outage.

Hydro One said Nov. 15 that more than 10,000 residential and seasonal customers – including people from Monmouth, Glamorgan, Dudley, Dysart et al, Snowdon, Stanhope, Minden, West Guilford, Harburn and Havelock – are expected to be impacted by the all-day planned power outage.

Hydro One said the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. cut is so that crews can safely complete muchneeded upgrades to modernize the grid and replace aging infrastructure.

They said approximately 5,815 residential and 5,509 seasonal customers would be affected.

“Approximately 104 highly-skilled Hydro One power line workers will install four smart-switches and replace 24 end-of-life wood poles throughout the County of Haliburton,” Hydro One said in a media release.

“Smart-switches help to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, while limiting the amount of customers impacted. Crews will also complete maintenance work at multiple distribution stations in the area,” the release went on to say.

They added that crews will use both on-road and specialized off-road equipment to conduct the upgrades, which includes a helicopter.

It’s all part of the $33-milliion investment announced at the Minden Transformer Station last July – and follows from the July 26, 2018 fire at that station.

A Hydro One spokesperson told The Highlander, “these devices enable remote monitoring of the system to determine when and where outages have happened and remotely take action to restore power from the Ontario Grid Control Center, Hydro One’s central hub that oversees daily operations.”

Told the paper had received a lot of questions about the timing of the outage – with wintry weather firmly entrenched across the County, the spokeswoman said, “We know that any outage causes a disruption for our customers, particularly outages of this length. Hydro One works to reduce the impact on customers by bundling required work, so multiple outages are not required, while using all available crews. We appreciate everyone’s patience as our crews work as safely and as quickly to complete this important work.”

Letter writer Cheryl Cohoon penned her objections to The Highlander, Dysart et al council and Hydro One. She said she got an automated call on Nov. 6 advising her of the outage.

She said she appreciates the service she receives from Hydro One, especially the workers who come out during emergencies and bad weather. However, she said she doesn’t like the timing, especially for seniors.

She’s also worried about pipes freezing and bursting; food spoiling in refrigerators and freezers; cancelled events; and water also being cut.

“Why was a Sunday chosen in the throes of winter?” she asked.

But Michael Adamson wrote on our Facebook page that, “The company will cut down on the number of power outages that happen in the area every year with new technology and forestry practices.”

Others, who will have power, or be using generators, are offering to open their doors. The Wilberforce legion is having a breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon.

Hydro One customers requiring additional information can call 1-888-664-9376.

See The Highlander’s Facebook page for a map of the affected area.

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