Power outage knocks out phone services

Trent Ernst, Editor


Blame it on the snow.

That’s the word from Telus after last week’s day-long outage of cell phone and long distance services.

According to a Telus spokesperson, heavy snowfall and high winds knocked a tree down onto a BC Hydro line that provides power to the “central office” for the Tumbler Ridge area. “Our sites are designed to immediately begin using a back-up power source, typically a generator, but in this rare case, it failed to immediately kick-in,” says the spokesperson. “Our team is still determining why the generator didn’t kick-in.”

The outage also knocked out 911 services, which meant that the bank was unable to open. Bank Manager Christopher Leggett says “for safety of the staff I am not able to open the branch when emergency services (911) are offline.”

Leggett says that the bank also is unable to open the vault for cash transactions “ if our security and emergency contacts cannot be reached by phone.”

With the bank closed and Interac systems unable to dial out, too, it made for a tense few hours at the local stores, where they were unable to do anything other than cash transactions.

A Telus crew was dispatched from Dawson. Upon arriving in Tumbler, they were able to get the generator up and running. “This restored power to the site, and service to all of our customers in the area.”

By late afternoon, everything was back to normal in Tumbler Ridge.