One per cent of properties without power in Red Deer and a state of local emergency is still in effect.
City crews have made great progress in restoring power to residents and businesses across the City. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, approximately 12,000 properties were without power; at this time, 400 properties are without power.
The City’s priority areas to restore power are Vanier Woods, Riverside Light Industrial and Glendale/Normandeau. Officials said the goal is to have these areas fully restored by Saturday morning.
Electric Light and Power crews are not able to reconnect fallen power lines until damages to meters on private property are repaired. Residents and businesses with meters or connecting power lines that were damaged in the storm are asked to bring in an electrician for repairs before City crews are able to reconnect fallen lines.
“Downed trees and power poles are still our main obstacle to getting power back on. Forty power poles were damaged and needed to be replaced before power could be restored; at this point, we have about 15 power poles left to replace,” said Kelly Kloss, Emergency Operations director. “We are focusing on the major issues that affect the most residents, then we will work to fix small pockets around the City.”
Residents that have been without power since Tuesday are reminded to discard any food from their fridge or freezer. Residents are asked to contact their insurance provider to inquire about compensation. As a result of the increased garbage expected due to spoiled food, the City has relaxed the five bag limit for areas who had an extended power outage.
“Residents are asked to double bag any food waste from fridges or freezers in an attempt to minimize odours, especially if residents do not have containers,” said Kloss. “This relaxation is in effect for these areas until June 29th.”
Environment Canada has concluded that a ‘straight wind’ hit Red Deer on Tuesday night. While this is not an uncommon weather event for the prairies, it is uncommon to occur in a populated area.
City Manager Craig Curtis said officials are keeping a tally of the damage and the City has already hit the $150,000 mark. That number is preliminary and is expected to rise substantially.
Meanwhile, assistance is available for residents who require income support or food vouchers. If residents currently receive or require Income Support they can contact the 24-hour Emergency Income Support Contact Centre at 1-866-644-5135 or 780-644-5315. If residents require grocery vouchers, call the City of Red Deer at 403-342-8111.
Volunteer Central is coordinating volunteers to help fellow Red Deerians with light yard clean up as a result of Tuesday’s storm. If residents would like to volunteer, or if they require assistance, contact Volunteer Central at 403-346-3710 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
The north snow storage facility (located at 6859 Edgar Industrial Drive) is open to collect large branches that have fallen on residential properties. Drop off is free of charge and the facility is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Residents clearing branches and debris from their property can dispose of them as follows:
Small branches up to one inch in diameter and up to 4 ft. long can be set out for regular Yard Waste collection. Branches should be bundled and tied with a string. There is no limit on the amount of yard waste as long as it’s contained properly.
Branches larger than one inch in diameter or more than 4 ft. long can be dropped off at the Edgar Industrial Drive snow storage facility until July 3rd.
Diseased branches or elm wood must be taken to the landfill for burial and cannot be put out for yard waste collection or taken to the snow storage facility. Garbage, sod or other yard waste material can be put out with regular yard waste pickup. Tree debris, shingles and other debris can be dropped off at the landfill.
In addition, City officials are encouraging residents to have a 72-hour emergency kit in their home. Details of what to include in an emergency kit can be found at http://www.reddeer.ca/city-services/ambulance-fire-and-emergencies/emergency-preparedness-and-public-safety/emergency-kits/.