A Thank You to Utility Workers on a Job Well Done [PHOTO GALLERY]

On behalf of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) and its members, I would like to thank the thousands of utility workers who have demonstrated unwavering dedication in restoring power to customers affected by extreme weather events across Canada over the past month.

Severe winter storms, freezing rain, heavy snow, and extreme cold have recently caused extensive damage to power systems and electricity infrastructure in many provinces and left hundreds of thousands of customers without power. Yet utility crews and employees have worked around the clock to clear and repair damaged power lines and turn the lights back on.

Take for example the ice storm that hit southern Ontario on December 21, 2013, leaving more than 450,000 customers in the dark. Toronto Hydro crews worked 24/7 for 13 consecutive days to restore power. 1,452 Toronto Hydro employees worked through their holidays to bring their customers back on line, 75% of whom had the lights back on in the first 48 hours. Similarly, Hydro One had more than 1,400 people working on the restoration effort at the same time.

That same storm continued on, moving further east, bringing inclement weather to parts of the Maritimes and knocking out power to 170,000 New Brunswick Power customers. 264 NB Power crews, in addition to hundreds of employees, worked tirelessly over the holiday period to restore power.

The utilities affected also received mutual assistance from neighbouring utilities, private contractors, and tree trimming companies, whose workers also contributed to relief efforts.

As a resident of Toronto, I witnessed first-hand the incredible heart and persistence of utility crews who worked to restore power as safely and expeditiously as possible. I wish to commend them, and all other utility workers and employees across the country, for their assistance and their continued hard work and dedication.

Every province has experienced extreme weather over the past month. Utility workers across Canada—from line maintainers, foresters, technicians, helicopter crews, call centre agents, grid control operators, and support staff—have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to their customers. They have stepped up to the challenge regardless of the weather or the time of year, without question—that is customer service.

A sincere thank you to them for a job well done.

Click on the images for larger versions.

A Toronto Hydro worker repairs power lines damaged by the ice storm of December 2013. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.
A Toronto Hydro worker repairs power lines damaged by the ice storm of December 2013. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.

A Toronto Hydro worker repairs power lines damaged during the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.
A Toronto Hydro worker repairs power lines damaged during the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.

Toronto Hydro crews work to restore power after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.
Toronto Hydro crews work to restore power after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.

A Toronto Hydro crew arrives to clear fallen tree limbs and repair damaged power lines after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.
A Toronto Hydro crew arrives to clear fallen tree limbs and repair damaged power lines after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.

Toronto Hydro crews clear fallen tree limbs and repair damaged power lines to restore power to customers after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.
Toronto Hydro crews clear fallen tree limbs and repair damaged power lines to restore power to customers after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Toronto Hydro Corporation.

A Manitoba Hydro crew works with Toronto Hydro employees to restore power after the December 2013 ice storm. Manitoba Hydro crews travelled to Toronto in the storm’s aftermath to assist in the relief efforts. Photo courtesy of Manitoba Hydro.
A Manitoba Hydro crew works with Toronto Hydro employees to restore power after the December 2013 ice storm. Manitoba Hydro crews travelled to Toronto in the storm’s aftermath to assist in the relief efforts. Photo courtesy of Manitoba Hydro.

Workers repair damaged power lines after a fierce winter storm moved through New Brunswick in December 2013. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
Workers repair damaged power lines after a fierce winter storm moved through New Brunswick in December 2013. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

A worker clears fallen tree limbs after the December 2013 winter storm in New Brunswick knocked out power to thousands of customers.. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
A worker clears fallen tree limbs after the December 2013 winter storm in New Brunswick knocked out power to thousands of customers.. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

A worker clears fallen tree limbs after a fierce winter storm moved through New Brunswick in December 2013. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
A worker clears fallen tree limbs after a fierce winter storm moved through New Brunswick in December 2013. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

New Brunswick Power workers repair damaged power lines near St. George, NB, after the December 2013 winter storm. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
New Brunswick Power workers repair damaged power lines near St. George, NB, after the December 2013 winter storm. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

A New Brunswick Power crew repairs damaged power lines near St. George, NB, after the December 2013 winter storm. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
A New Brunswick Power crew repairs damaged power lines near St. George, NB, after the December 2013 winter storm. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

A New Brunswick Power worker repairs damage done to power lines near St. George, NB, after a fierce winter storm moved through the region in December 2013. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
A New Brunswick Power worker repairs damage done to power lines near St. George, NB, after a fierce winter storm moved through the region in December 2013. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

Workers repair damaged power lines to restore power in New Brunswick after a severe winter storm moved through the region in December 2013. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
Workers repair damaged power lines to restore power in New Brunswick after a severe winter storm moved through the region in December 2013. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

Crews work to restore power after the December 2013 winter storm affected over 100,000 customers in New Brunswick. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
Crews work to restore power after the December 2013 winter storm affected over 100,000 customers in New Brunswick. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

A crew works on damaged power lines after the December 2013 winter storm in New Brunswick. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
A crew works on damaged power lines after the December 2013 winter storm in New Brunswick. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

Crews work to clear fallen tree limbs and repair damaged power lines in New Brunswick after the December 2013 winter storm. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
Crews work to clear fallen tree limbs and repair damaged power lines in New Brunswick after the December 2013 winter storm. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

A tree trimmer clears fallen tree limbs in New Brunswick after the fierce winter storm that moved through the region in December 2013 knocked out power for more than 100,000 customers. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.
A tree trimmer clears fallen tree limbs in New Brunswick after the fierce winter storm that moved through the region in December 2013 knocked out power for more than 100,000 customers. Photo courtesy of New Brunswick Power Holding Corporation.

Horizon Utilities crews repair damaged power lines in the aftermath of the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.
Horizon Utilities crews repair damaged power lines in the aftermath of the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.

A Horizon Utilities worker repairs power lines damaged by the ice storm of December 2013. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.
A Horizon Utilities worker repairs power lines damaged by the ice storm of December 2013. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.

A Horizon Utilities worker repairs damage done to power lines after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.
A Horizon Utilities worker repairs damage done to power lines after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.

Horizon Utilities crews work with Milton Hydro crews to restore power after the December 2013 ice storm. Horizon Utilities assisted Milton Hydro in their recovery efforts. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.
Horizon Utilities crews work with Milton Hydro crews to restore power after the December 2013 ice storm. Horizon Utilities assisted Milton Hydro in their recovery efforts. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.

Horizon Utilities workers help Milton Hydro crews restore power after the December 2013 ice storm. Horizon Utilities assisted Milton Hydro in their recovery efforts. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.
Horizon Utilities workers help Milton Hydro crews restore power after the December 2013 ice storm. Horizon Utilities assisted Milton Hydro in their recovery efforts. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.

A Horizon Utilities crew assists Toronto Hydro with their recovery efforts after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.
A Horizon Utilities crew assists Toronto Hydro with their recovery efforts after the December 2013 ice storm. Photo courtesy of Horizon Utilities Corp.