Amaranth car accident darkens Orangeville neighbourhoods

Neighbourhoods on Orangeville’s west side were blanketed in darkness Nov. 14.

Homes and businesses were darkened, save for the emergency lights inside the Alder Street arena, because of a motor vehicle accident in Amaranth that took out power transmission equipment. As many as 2,400 Orangeville houses and businesses experienced the outage.

While Orangeville Hydro resources in the area of the motor vehicle mishap were affected, damage to Hydro One equipment was deemed to have been significant by crews working to restore power.

Orangeville Hydro President Rob Koekkoek said a large vehicle on Shannon Court in Amaranth took down Hydro One-owned poles and wires.

“We share the feeder with Hydro One,” Koekoek said.

The feeder services customers in Amaranth, East Garafraxa, and the west end of Orangeville.

“When the vehicle damaged the poles and wires, the feeder was knocked out of power,” Koekoek said. “In order to make the downed wires safe, the feeder operated.”

He said the feeder is similar to a household circuit breaker. It trips out if the load on a circuit becomes too great.

“The electric grid is set up to notice when downstream damaged equipment exists and fault current is flowing,” he said. “Then upstream protective equipment opens the switch and isolates that section of the feeder.”

Members of the Dufferin detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police, along with crews from Orangeville Hydro and Hydro One worked in concert to control the accident scene and restore power to affected residents and businesses.

“Once Hydro One was able to respond to the scene within an hour, they isolated the damaged wires and were able to restore power to their customers and ours,” Koekoek said.

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James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen