No clear culprit in Monday outage

Yukon Energy employees flew over a faulty transmission line Tuesday afternoon to figure out what caused a power outage, but haven't found any answers.

Yukon Energy employees flew over a faulty transmission line Tuesday afternoon to figure out what caused a power outage, but haven’t found any answers.

The line between Carmacks and Faro appears intact and there are no trees leaning on it, said corporation spokesperson Janet Patterson in an e-mail.

Heavy snow may have temporarily affected the line or pushed a tree onto the line for a short while, she said.

The line de-energized Monday evening at 7 p.m., plunging several communities across the southern Yukon into darkness.

Emergency diesel generators turned on automatically in Ross River, Teslin and Carmacks.

Power in Pelly Crossing and the Minto mine didn’t return for 20 minutes, while Deep Creek didn’t get power for 15 minutes.

Several communities and the Whitehorse neighbourhood of Riverdale lost power for several minutes.

Only Faro and Ross River remained on diesel until Tuesday afternoon.

The outage was Yukon Energy’s ninth of the year on the southern Yukon grid, known as Whitehorse-Aishihik-Faro.

That’s better than 2008’s high of 18 controllable outages and 2009’s 12 on the same grid.

The average number of outages per Yukoner last year was 5.52, while the national average was 2.31 per person.

The last major outage was in mid-August when two Yukon Energy employees accidentally tripped the power grid.

In July, a Yukon Electrical Company Limited breaker shut down power in the southern Yukon grid.

And in June, a broken diesel generator in Faro undergoing repairs shut down power as well.

The average length of a power outage in Yukon last year was 40 minutes.

The national average is around two hours and 20 minutes. (James Munson)

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