District-wide power outage slated Sunday

District residents, including those in Fort Frances, will see a power interruption this Sunday so Hydro One can perform maintenance and upgrades to its system.
While the entire district will be affected, there will, in fact, be two power outages at different times.
Fort Frances, and the area east of here from the Causeway to Pearson Road, including Couchiching and Stanjikoming First Nations, will see an interruption from 1-5 p.m.
Hydro One customers west of Fort Frances to Rainy River, and north to Morson, are expected to lose power from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
“We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers,” Hydro One said in a press release. “However, scheduled power interruptions are necessary to maintain a reliable power delivery system.
“Your patience is appreciated,” it added.
Because of the power outage, many businesses in Fort Frances that normally are open Sundays will decrease their hours of operation. For instance, Canada Safeway only will be open from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., instead of 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
“It’s a major inconvenience and expense,” Canada Safeway manager Dave McBride said Friday morning, adding that while the store may be closed while the power’s out, there still will be staff there to minimize the impact of the interruption on its refrigerated goods.
The Canada Safeway gas bar will be open from 6 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and then re-open from 6-11 p.m.
Wal-Mart will be open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., then re-open from 5-10:30 p.m., while Canadian Tire will be open from 10 a.m. until possibly 1:30 p.m. (the store can run on its back-up generator for a short duration after power goes out at 1 p.m.)
But The Beer Store and local LCBO outlet will not be open at all on Sunday.
The restaurants along “Hamburger Alley” will be closed for the four-hour interruption, but be open both before and afterwards.
For example, McDonald’s will be open from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. and 6-11 p.m. (an hour will be needed to get the restaurant’s equipment started again).
“It’s an inconvenience, but it [the maintenance work] is something that has to be done,” said manager Philip Jones.
Pizza Hut, which normally doesn’t open until noon on Sundays, will be open from 5-10 p.m., said manager Brenda Kellar, adding it doesn’t make much sense to open for an hour and then close due to the power outage.
“[The interruption] is a little inconvenient, but I’m taking the time to do some staff training. I’m trying to make the best of it,” she remarked.
< *c>Tips for residents
Meanwhile, the Fort Frances Power Corp. has offered the following tips for people to prepare for the power outage:
•Consider having on-hand a first-aid kit, flashlight, battery-operated radio, and bottled water;
•Check the owner’s manuals for safety precautions and directions for electronic equipment such as televisions and computers;
•Take the necessary steps recommended by manufacturers for electrically-powered home medical equipment;
•Take the necessary steps to deal with a sump pump in your home; and
•Consider special needs of family members and take into account their needs and health issues during the outage.
Tips to follow during the power outage include:
•Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as food will keep from 12-48 hours (as long as the doors are kept closed);
•Never use a barbecue, portable generator, or a propane heater indoors, or use a gas stove as a heater;
•Use cell phones or hardwire single-line telephones in case of an emergency because cordless phones will not work;
•Be courteous and stop at all intersections as traffic control lights will not be operating; and
•Enjoy the outdoors.