Temporary Generators Installed at Pukatawagan

EIN Manitoba Hydro Logo

August 19, 2022

After just over a month of planning, transportation, and installation work, Manitoba Hydro energized two large industrial generators to bring power back to the community of Pukatawagan. This will allow residents to return home while the utility works to replace 77 fire-damaged poles on the power line feeding the community.

“A lot of people worked really hard to make this happen,” said Cyril Patterson, Manitoba Hydro’s Director of Rural Operations. “There’s lots left to do out there, but we’re happy community members can go home while we finish the job.”

The wildfire that threatened Pukatawagan (also known as Mathias Colomb Cree Nation), forced the evacuation of approximately 2,000 residents and damaged the power line feeding it, but left the rail line into the community intact. This allowed Manitoba Hydro to ship in two large generators to temporarily restore power. The two 1,500 kW generators, which are far too large to be flown in, are being continuously monitored and refueled while crews work to repair Pukatawagan’s normal power supply.

“Being in our Treaty Six territory is the comfort of home…we feel settled,” said Lorna Bighetty, Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Chief.

“Installing the generators means that essential services — such as health, water and sewer, service to our homes, access to the outside world through internet services and other media — are available again. We will rest at night and rise in the morning knowing that our families are safe.”

To complete repairs, crews will get to work setting poles in and around steep cliffs, marsh, and rock — a difficult task complicated by access issues. Many of the materials required to restore power, including poles, spools of power lines, insulators, guy wires, specialized vehicles, transformers, fuel, etc., arrived in the community on the same train as the generators. The train was 27 cars long.

“There are, literally, a lot of moving parts here,” Patterson said. “The generators came via rail from Alberta into The Pas, where we attached more cars to that train with additional materials and fuel. Once it all got to Pukatawagan, we installed environmental protection around the generator sites, then unloaded, fueled, and installed the generators so people could come home. Now we’ll use helicopters to fly equipment and crews to the fire-damaged areas and fix those lines.”

Manitoba Hydro continues to provide regular updates to the leadership of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation as well as other agencies such as Indigenous Services Canada, Manitoba Wildfire Service, and the Canadian Red Cross. The generators will be in place until repairs to the power line are completed.

Source

Related Articles


Latest Articles


Changing Scene

  • IBEW President Lonnie R. Stephenson Retires, Kenneth W. Cooper Named New President

    IBEW President Lonnie R. Stephenson Retires, Kenneth W. Cooper Named New President

    November 29, 2022 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Lonnie R. Stephenson is retiring, effective Jan. 4, bringing an end to a nearly five-decade active career in the union. “It’s been the honor of my life to serve the members of the greatest union in the world and advance the cause of trade unionism in… Read More…

  • Eddy Group Announce Branch Manage for New Charlottetown Branch

    Eddy Group Announce Branch Manage for New Charlottetown Branch

    November 25, 2022 Eddy Group Limited has announced Emily VanToever as the Branch Manager at their new location in Charlottetown, PEI, which is scheduled to open in early 2023. Emily begins her new position on Monday, November 21, 2022, and will report to Richard Barker, Corporate Sales Manager. “Emily comes to Eddy Group Ltd. from… Read More…

  • IDEAL Virtual Electrician Experience

    IDEAL Virtual Electrician Experience

    November 25, 2022 The IDEAL Virtual Electrician Experience (IVEE) is a free interactive virtual reality app that’s perfect for people who want to learn more about the electrical industry. The app for Oculous Meta Quest 2 headsets gives you a virtual, hands-on look at what it takes to be an electrician. Go HERE for more information Read More…

  • BJ Electric Supplies Announces Retirement of Kevin Gutsch

    BJ Electric Supplies Announces Retirement of Kevin Gutsch

    November 25, 2022 BJ Electric Supplies has announced the retirement of a member of its executive team, Kevin Gutsch, Vice-President of Operations, on or before November 30th, 2022. “Kevin began his career with BJ Electric Supplies on November 20, 1979. His first position was picking orders as a warehouse worker. After enthusiastically taking on whatever… Read More…