The power surge in Manitoba Hydro led to troubles for many East St. Paul residents.
As it became known, some families faced damage to electrical appliances and one family even remained without heating. The incident occurred on January 31 at about 3 am. A sudden overvoltage lasted only a few seconds, but it led to some negative consequences.
"The cause of the outage was a downed power line touching another line at Gateway and Pritchard Farm Road, likely related to the frigid weather, " Manitoba Hydro spokesperson Bruce Owen said.
Guy Belot, East St. Paul resident, explained that his family is still suffering from the lack of heat.
"I'm still without heat. This is Day 6 without heat now, and it's pretty agonizing," said Belot.
The man said that he felt that there was no heating on January 31 in the morning when he woke up.
"I realized the furnace isn't going on and I thought, 'That's a little strange,'" he said. "Then I realized one of my surge protectors in the house, I could tell it was fried, just by smelling it."
Four surge protectors were damaged in his house.
"It's scary because I could have lost all my TVs, electronics, like other people, have reported, so luckily these surge protectors did their job, but it could have been far worse," said Belot. "My wife and I, our daughter has autism, so most days are challenging as it is, and this certainly is not helping matters. It's hard because she's non-verbal, so she can't tell us how she feels."
Guy Belot is trying to get compensation from the city or Manitoba Hydra. However, this has not happened yet.
Bruce Owen asks all residents of the city whose electrical equipment was damaged due to the fault of Manitoba Hydra, be sure to contact the company. The management of the company will consider each case and try to help people.
Also, representatives of Manitoba Hydra also said that this phenomenon occurs very rarely. However, Winnipeggers should purchase surge suppressors to protect appliances and their homes. Good quality point-of-use surge suppressors can be bought for $40-100, and they are available in many stores.
While Guy Belot is waiting for the response from the insurance company, his family is trying to warm themselves in the cold house.
"I've also got two electric fireplaces going on, and we also have some space heaters."