Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Hydro pole fires cause power outages Sunday

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Thousands of Winnipeggers were forced to put their Easter dinners on hold as a massive power outage hit East Kildonan, West Kildonan, Garden City and parts of River East early Sunday morning. Two pole-top fires on Aberdeen Avenue caused the outage to 8,000 homes.

Power came back on at 12:45 Sunday afternoon.

Hydro spokesperson Athony Koop said Monday two poles were damaged beyond repair and new poles had to be set.

There were five pole-top fires within an hour in Winnipeg, Koop said. The fires are caused by a buildup sand and dirt from winter roads, mixed with moisture from a weekend snow. The combination can cause electricity to arc and create fires.

While Koop said the fires are not unusual, having five at a time is "extraordinary."

Rain would help clean off the muck, he said.

There’s good news for Hydro in the forecast, with showers predicted for Wednesday.

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