Some Swift Current residents were left without power and had their teleservices interrupted after a powerline was knocked over yesterday.
Around 10 a.m, City RCMP responded to a call from an individual who had struck a power line while hauling a grain bin through town, knocking over three power poles and causing damages to two others at the turn from Fentons Drive to Memorial Drive, on the south side of the city.
Constable Gary Christopher with the City RCMP, detailed how officers arrived on the scene to find an oversized load, the grain bin, had knocked down the power line, causing minor damage to the vehicle, but no injury to the person(s) inside the vehicle.
Mitch Minken, general manager of infrastructure and operations for the City of Swift Current, was able to discuss the topic in greater detail, sharing how City crews responded to the incident.
Minken shared that it was a private contractor who was hauling the bin through the city, who hadn't checked his route and the height of his load, resulting in the collision with the power lines.
"He hadn't got a moving permit," shared Minken. "We'll calculate all our costs and now those will be passed back onto that contractor company or their insurance."
An expensive oversight that could have been avoided by contacting the City's Public Works Department, where they can help individuals get a route planned and a permit, for free. The legal limit for height on a load is 13 feet and six inches. Anything over that is required to have a permit.
City workers spent the better part of the day replacing the power poles and fixing the power lines. Depending on where someone was in the city, they may have experienced a fairly brief power outage or may have been stuck without electricity for up to six hours.
"It was all of our light and power crew who were involved in it," commented Minken.
Also damaged in the collision when the poles came down, were a few transformers. The City has had trouble acquiring new transformers recently, as supply chain shortages affect the availability of such specialized parts. The loss of those transformers could be costly.
"If they were damaged completely, it would be," said Minken. "I don't believe we had any that were destroyed. Typically in these cases, they can be repaired. We would send them away to get repaired, and that bill would also be included."
All in all, this served to be less destructive than it could have been, mostly just removing work crews from their regular work projects.
"It's good to know that our protection operated as intended and no one was hurt," added Minken.