A weekend power outage in the Tisdale area was caused when a regulator was struck by a bullet, according to SaskPower.
Repair crews were called to a location south of Tisdale in the early hours of Sunday morning, SaskPower spokesperson Jordan Jackle said. When crews arrived on the scene, they immediately noticed power equipment was damaged.
“The power was out, and we also had a passerby telling us there was a sparking pole,” he said. “Our crews got there and they noticed a bit of oil on the ground underneath this power pole.”
As the repair crews worked, Jackle said they quickly noticed that two voltage regulators had been shot, which was determined to be the cause of the outage. Voltage regulators are similar to transformers, he said, but serve to maintain a consistent power supply rather than transforming a high-voltage current.
“This knocked out power to about 400 customers south of Tisdale. We were able to reroute power and get it back up for those folks in about two hours,” Jackle said. “The total damage is estimated at around $100,000.”
Most of the outages seen in the province are caused by weather, wildlife or aging infrastructure, Jackle said. Incidents of deliberate vandalism are rare, he noted, but do occasionally happen. It is always extremely dangerous to deliberately interfere with power equipment, he said, as damaged transformers can potentially cause fires or even explode.
The incident has been reported to the RCMP, he said, who are currently investigation. Jackle asked anyone with information on the incident to contact the Tisdale RCMP detachment or make an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers.
This is not the first unusual power outage SaskPower has seen this season. Last month a major outage affecting the entire city of Prince Albert and surrounding rural areas was found to have been caused by a beaver.
On Twitter: @TMacPhersonNews
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