Update: AltaLink said power was restored to all customers east of Calgary shortly after 4:30 p.m. The cause of the outage was an equipment failure at a substation.
A large power outage Thursday afternoon affected over 3,500 homes and businesses in towns and counties east and southeast of Calgary.
According to Fortis Alberta’s website, the unplanned outage for “emergency repairs” started just after 1 p.m. and was expected to be restored by 5 p.m..
Fortis said the outage was on the transmission system, which is owned and operated by AltaLink.
In a statement, AltaLink said, “t approximately 1 p.m. today, our control centre received a signal indicating an issue at an AltaLink substation that caused an outage to approximately 3,500 customers east of Calgary. Crews are on site working as quickly as possible to identify the cause of the outage and restore customers.”
It was a tense few hours for Carseland business owner Jennifer Wiebe. She said she and her landlord were left scrambling to set up a generator in an effort to save $60,000 worth of equipment that needs to be in a temperature-controlled environment.
“Our town restaurant is closed now, the grocery store owner is scared as to what she should do, farms have their generators going and us little business owners, like me, with temperature-sensitive equipment, are left in a full panic wondering, ‘What if it isn’t fixed?'” said Wiebe.
“After this, many business owners are thinking about self-sustaining options,” Wiebe said.
“This is too much stress. I’ve lost all jobs and clients for the day and this will cost me big time!”
As of 3:35 p.m., over 2,300 customers were still affected, according to Fortis Alberta’s website.
By 4 p.m. only 70 of those remaining customers were without power.
AltaLink is investigating the cause of the outage.
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