Jeff Heuchert email@example.com
(UPDATE: 12/24 10:30 a.m.)
For the thousands of rural residents and people living in towns and villages surrounding Stratford who are still without power, there's hope for a bright Christmas tomorrow.
Hydro One is estimating to have power fully restored to the Mitchell, Milverton, Listowel, and Shakespeare areas by today at 8 p.m.
You can follow the utilities progress as it gets more customers back up and running by following Hydro One's interactive map at www.hydroone.com.
Original story from Dec. 23 below
The major storm that hit the region over the weekend, coating hydro wires and trees in a thick coat of ice, has left approximately 7,000 hydro customers in the rural areas surrounding Stratford without power Monday.
Hydro One is saying it could take until Christmas eve to fully restore the power to all of the homes affected in the area spanning Mitchell, Milverton, Listowel and Shakespeare.
In Stratford, the situation is far brighter. Festival Hydro says only a handful of homes are still in the dark. At the storm's worst Sunday morning, nearly 2,000 customers in the city were without power, but only for roughly one hour. During that time several downtown merchants reported brief power outages and some traffic lights were out in the area as well.
Festival Hydro’s Jac Vanderbaan says the utility has worked closely with the city in recent years to try to mitigate the impact such a storm will have on residents. Branches around hydro wires are monitored and trimmed back when necessary, and the utility has tried to replace infrastructure ahead of time, he notes.
With little work required in Stratford, Festival Hydro has sent workers to assist Hydro One restore power in the Clinton area, he adds.
Despite limited power in the Milverton area, the Perth East Recreation Complex there is open today (Monday) as a warming centre. In Listowel, the North Perth municipal office is also available for anyone who needs to warm up, pick up some portable water, or charge their electronic device. The North Perth landfill will be open Monday as well from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to drop off any ice storm debris.
According to Environment Canada, Stratford received as much as 25 mm of freezing rain over a period that stretched from Friday night into Sunday afternoon. Environment Canada is also warning about light to moderate winds over the next few days, which could lead to falling tree branches.