Lone crow causes mass outages across Winnipeg: Hydro
A crow picks at a container in Frankfurt, Germany in a Friday, April 21, 2017 file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Probst)
WINNIPEG -- A lone crow was the culprit behind a mass power outage that affected nearly 10,000 customers, CTV News has learned.
On Thursday morning power across western Winnipeg was knocked out, affecting schools and daycares in the area.
Manitoba Hydro said the outage was caused by a crow landing on a 24,000-volt power station, creating a short that caused a mass outage.
“Basically an animal becomes a conductor. It bridges two pieces of electrical equipment that shouldn't be bridged,” Riley McDonald, a spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro, said. “It causes a short of some kind and then sometimes it can cause a chain reaction that can knock a bunch of people out.”
McDonald said wildlife-caused outages are fairly common.
In 2013 – the most recent numbers available to Manitoba Hydro – there were 862 wildlife-related outages. Three hundred and fifty of those were caused by squirrels and 265 were caused by birds, most commonly ravens or crows.
Hydro said it doesn’t have an estimated time for restoration, but said it would be providing updates shortly.
In an email obtained by CTV News Winnipeg sent from the St. James-Assiniboia School Division to parents, the division said Sansome School had been without power since 12:45 p.m. and were expecting the power to be restored around 4 p.m.
It said water was running and the school day would continue as planned. The power was restored shortly afterwards.
A spokesperson for the division said no buildings are currently affected by the outage.
Manitoba Hydro said power was partially restored as of Thrusday afternoon. To see an interactive map of where power outages are in Manitoba, visit the Manitoba Hydro website.