Heavy equipment knocks out power in Behchokǫ̀

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Behchoko, which has more than 2,000 residents, temporarily lost power Tuesday morning and a felled pole blocked access in and out of Rae.   (Curtis Mandeville/CBC - image credit)
Behchoko, which has more than 2,000 residents, temporarily lost power Tuesday morning and a felled pole blocked access in and out of Rae. (Curtis Mandeville/CBC - image credit)

Residents of Behchokǫ̀, N.W.T., can expect a power outage this afternoon, after a piece of heavy equipment toppled a power pole, knocking out power and preventing people from travelling in or out of Rae.

The road out of Rae has since reopened, but there will be a planned outage this afternoon to complete repairs, said the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

The access road was blocked as the power corporation undertook initial repairs to de-energize the infrastructure, the power corporation says.

Behchokǫ̀ Chief Clifford Daniels said there are no known injuries from the incident. He hopes traffic won't be blocked during this afternoon's planned outage.

"We have quite a bit of people that commute back and forth from Yellowknife," he said. "We need that access road open."

Doug Prendergast, a power corporation spokesperson, said a line crew replaced the damaged pole, and that power will be out as crews complete the repairs.

The contractors, whose vehicle damaged the pole, have flaggers on site and they are doing traffic control, said Prendergast. He added the road is not currently blocked.

A school bus has been sent out to retrieve students in Rae so they can attend class at Chief Jimmy Bruneau School in Edzo. He said the corporation anticipates it will take two hours to install and reconnect the infrastructure.