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Power restored in Haldimand

Karen Best & Carol Carpenter - Haldimand Review staff
Haldimand Review
Local News - Thursday, May 25, 2006 @ 09:00

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

CALEDONIA - By 6:15 a.m. May 24, power was restored to 36,000 homes and businesses in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties.

In Haldimand County, 11,400 customers were in the dark and in 24,000 were without power in Norfolk, with half of them in Simcoe. During gradual restoration of power, people were asked to conserve electricity.

Restoration was a lengthy process because the Caledonia transformer station is quite a distance from areas it served. "It takes a lot of voltage to travel through to the surrounding transformers," stated Lloyd Payne, President and CEO of Haldimand County Hydro, "This making it difficult for everyone to get some of the supply."

On May 22 at 2:14 p.m., the lights went out after an act of vandalism at a transformer station on Argyle Street South behind a Six Nations barricade. According to Hydro One media spokesperson Daffyd Roderick, a vehicle was driven through the gate at the transformer compound and set on fire under switch gears. A second fire was lit in a brick building housing a transformer and other equipment.

Haldimand County OPP are investigating this act of vandalism and incidents that occurred on May 22. A police spokesperson emphasized that a state of emergency was called over the outage.

Shortly before noon on May 23, officers escorted Hydro One employees into the compound. They worked non-stop into May 24. A contingent of officers stood by to maintain the peace. It will take two or three days to restore the station to full capacity.

Hydro One treated the destruction of the station as an emergency and as an urgent matter. “It’s a fairly important piece of infrastructure for that area,” said Roderick. The transformer station delivers power to part of Six Nations, Norfolk County and most of Haldimand County with Jarvis and Dunnville and surrounding areas as the exceptions.

In order to restore power, Hydro One worked with Haldimand County Hydro and Norfolk Power to redirect electricity off several undamaged transformer stations.

In Haldimand, Canfield was the first to have power restored on Monday followed by Hagersville and Cayuga later in the day on May 22. The next day, the north end of Caledonia was powered up through a Hamilton station on Nebo Road.

The gypsum plant, which draws a major load, was not connected in right away, said Lloyd Payne. He commended Hydro One for their cooperation in restoring power to the area.

Last to have power restored, the south side of town was lit up by an out of town station at 6:14 a.m. on May 24. Rotating blackouts occurred between Hagersville and Caledonia.

Once Hydro One has completed repairs and replacement, the company and local hydro companies will undo temporary transformer connections and reconnect Six Nations and Haldimand and Norfolk Counties to the Caledonia transformer station. Customers may see minor interruptions in power during this time.

In Norfolk, Simcoe was the last to have power back on.

At 4 a.m. on May 24, power was back on in town.

Norfolk Power president Fred Druyf was assured by Hydro One that the supply is reliable and back to normal.

The hydro towers used to barricade Argyle Street South and the Highway 6 bypass were lying on the construction site in the Hydro One corridor. They were not wrestled down to the ground, said Roderick.

In the summer of 2005, Hydro One began installing new hydro towers in the 76 kilometre line from Middleport to Allanburg near Niagara Falls. The new towers will be capable of carrying an additional 800 megawatts of power to southern Ontario.

Roderick said the new line, which is scheduled to be completed this summer, will have carry power from Niagara Falls and from the U.S. when necessary.

At present, Hydro One is working in areas not effected by the Six Nations occupation, said Roderick.

Once the hydro company can get back into the area , construction will be completed within eight weeks, he added. According the Hydro One website, the new line will be in service in 2007.

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