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Lightning caused outage

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Residents living in the central part of town lost power late Saturday night after lightning struck the feeder on Victoria Avenue, the Fort Frances Power Corp. reported this morning.

FFPC general superintendent Brian Mueller said the strike destroyed a cut-out switch on the feeder, which is located at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and Fifth Street East.

The outage was reported around 10 p.m., at which time FFPC workers were called out to identify and repair the problem.

Mueller estimated about 850 FFPC customers, as well as streetlights, had lost power. The affected area included residents from Victoria Avenue to Armit Avenue.

Once the problem had been pinpointed, the FFPC crew had it repaired by 1 a.m. and power was restored.

“Due to the nature of the darkness . . . it’s difficult to find one broken component in a system,” Mueller noted. “But they used a system of troubleshooting which isolated the problem, and the problem’s been repaired.

“Had this been a daylight issue, we would have been able to find it earlier but you have to imagine yourself in a couple trucks with spotlights trying to check every component before you find one that’s just not right.”

Mueller said he hopes Saturday’s unusual storm concludes the thunderstorm season.

“The storms are violent and the system does take a pretty good hit all summer, and we don’t sustain outages often because of it,” he said. “But the damage can still weaken the components, and I would have to think in this case that it had possibly weakened from earlier storms.

“We really are fortunate that our system is so solid, and the money has been put in to keep it up. It does hold up to the storms quite well, but every now and again. . . .” Mueller trailed off.

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