Most power outages are caused by severe weather — high winds, lightning, freezing rain, snow or flooding. During a storm, hydro poles are vulnerable to lightning strikes, while strong winds can snap off tree branches and bring down power lines. Freezing rain or snow can build up on equipment causing damage.

Ice Storm

Other possible causes of power outages include:

Equipment Failure: Although our equipment is regularly maintained and updated, problems can occasionally occur. Cables, connectors, transformers, switches and many other types of equipment can fail, and trigger an outage.

Vehicle Accidents: Vehicles that accidentally hit and damage our equipment can disrupt the power supply.

Animals: Wildlife such as crows, squirrels and raccoons are responsible for numerous outages in the Hamilton-Niagara area. When they come into contact with equipment or chew into a power line, this may result in a service interruption.

Cable Dig-ins: Construction crews can inadvertently hit a buried line or underground cable while excavating, resulting in an outage.

Trees: Neighbourhoods with large trees are more likely to experience power outages. When a tree comes into contact with a power line, either due to bad weather or growth, circuit breakers or other protective equipment are designed to cut off the power until crews remove the tree and reset the equipment.

Planned Interruptions: Occasionally, service interruptions are necessary in order to allow our crews to safely conduct maintenance or repair work. We try to schedule these repairs at the least inconvenient times for you and keep them to a minimum. Whenever possible, we provide customers with prior notice before we interrupt service.