Fall storm causes havoc on Ponoka streets

Mother Nature made her presence felt in Ponoka Sept. 8 with a fall snowstorm that wreaked havoc on Ponoka streets.

FALL SNOW STORM - The first snowfall for Ponoka came Sept. 8 and caused power outages and fallen branches on Ponoka streets. Town staff worked through the day to deal with numerous complaints of fallen tree branches.

FALL SNOW STORM - The first snowfall for Ponoka came Sept. 8 and caused power outages and fallen branches on Ponoka streets. Town staff worked through the day to deal with numerous complaints of fallen tree branches.

Mother Nature made her presence felt in Ponoka Sept. 8 with a fall snowstorm that wreaked havoc on Ponoka streets.

While the heavy snow may have been ideal for making snowmen, it caused tree limbs to break and power outages in different parts of town and had staff scrambling to clean up the mess. At the time electrical crews were dealing with clearing branches from power lines, public works staff worked to clear fallen branches from town streets.

About half of the town was out of power at approximately 1 p.m., explained Brian Harrison, electrical line foreman for the Town of Ponoka. He says the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre, the industrial park, Lucas Heights and areas near the trailer park were out of power for some time.

A large number of trees were so heavy with snow cover that electrical staff had to wait for the snow to clear before they safely bring power back to the residential area. The hospital has diesel powered generator and was able to function while the power was out.

While the town electrical department was busy, Fortis Alberta also had some power feeds out due to falling branches and one of those supply feeds affected Ponoka residents.

The power outage did affect one home in the Lucas Heights area where the Ponoka Fire Department responded to call of alarms. Smoke emanating from the building prompted firefighters to enter the building where they found a pan on the stove.

It appears the homeowner was cooking when the power went out and forgot to turn the switch off when they left the building. When the power was restored, the stove turned on. No one was hurt in the incident. Harrison said the department had to work overtime to ensure trees were clear from secondary power lines to homes.

Much of central Alberta battled heavy snowfall with reports of five to 15 centimetres in some areas.

Ponoka Town Hall received numerous complaints of branches blocking streets. At press time it was unclear if there was serious property damage to any Ponoka homes.