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Bird causes city-wide power outage in Rossland

Rossland lost power for over an hour and a half on Friday night after a bird got into FortisBC's Cascade Substation.

Rossland lost power for over an hour and a half on Friday night due to some fowl play.

A bird got into FortisBC’s Cascade Substation, causing the power outage.

“It sounds like the bird was on a ground wire and then also touched an energized wire,” said Nicole Bogdanovic, corporate communications advisor for FortisBC.

Bogdanovic explained that the system shutting down as a result showed that it’s working as it should when a fault occurs.

“Because the fault happened in close proximity to a transformer, the transformer shut down as a protection measure, which really is the system working as it should in those situations,” she explained. “So in that situation crews follow a very strict protocol to bring the system back on safely.”

The power outage lasted between 7:41 p.m. and 9:18 p.m. and affected all of Rossland.

“There were 2100 customers impacted,” said Bogdanovic.

Overall, Bogdanovic said the system operated as it should have, given the situation.

“We do have pest control in our substations, but given the nature of electricity, there are instances where there are interactions that cause outages,” she said.