On the morning of May 13 a farmer drove his air seeder through Eckville, taking down power lines in its wake. The damage took out the power to 741 residents in Eckville. Photo submitted

Farm equipment causing power outages in Central Alberta

According to Fortis Alberta the number of outages caused by farm equipment is on the rise

More than 700 residents of Eckville were without power on Sunday after a farmer drover his air seeder through town.

The large piece of machinery downed power lines and affected a few poles Sunday morning.

Fortis Alberta dispatched power line technicians to Eckville to work on restoring power to those effected.

According to Mona Bartsoff with Fortis Alberta, some were without power for upwards of 12 hours.

“The power went to before 10 a.m. on Sunday,” Bartsoff said in a phone interview, adding the exact time was 9:46 a.m.. “Most were restored by 4:33 p.m. in the afternoon and complete restoration and repair was completed at 8:50 p.m.”

This incident isn’t the only one if its kind. Over the past few weeks few weeks Fortis Alberta has received calls of a similar nature.

Bartsoff says the number of similar incidents has been on the rise over the last few years.

Large pieces of farming equipment, such as the air seeder that downed power lines in Eckville on May 13, are a large concern for the power company.

“I think farmers don’t realize how big their equipment is, and that the size of it have just about doubled since the 1950s,” said Bartsoff.

It is important for farmers, and anyone hauling, to know the size of their load as well as the route they are taking.

If the equipment being moved is more than 5.3 metres in height it is recommended the hauler calls the energy supplier, in this case Fortis Alberta, to plan the best route.

“We will work with the farmer, or whoever is moving the equipment, to plan the best and safest route possible.”

A piece of equipment should not come within seven metre of a power line while being moved.

In a situation like this, safety is the main concern for Fortis Alberta. A downed power line is a dangerous thing, and can be a safety concern not only for the general public but also the person driving the tractor.

The second concern is restoring power to the public in a timely fashion.

“The tractor caused a lot of damage, and it took us nearly 12 hours to remedy the situation,” said Bartsoff.

A safety concern is how people react to a downed line as well.

Bartsoff says it is important for the public to know what to do when they come across a downed power line.

“You need to stay at least 10 metres away from a downed line. The line could electrify the area around it.”

If you see a downed power line the first step is to call 911 and then the energy supplier, Fortis Alberta.

Just Posted

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

Lacombe Police Service rolls out holiday roadside check stops

Officers with approved screening device can request a breath test from anyone they lawfully stop

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

Town Center removed from Lacombe Southeast Area Structure Plan

Developer of Lacombe Market Square requested ammendment to the plan

Lacombe Amnesty International group writes letters for human rights

Group honours 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Questions raised over retailers who shame shoplifters with photos

Alleged theft from a sex shop in Newfoundland led to posts on social media

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Stettler man found guilty of illegally trafficking wildlife

Hunting license suspended for three years

Most Read