About 2,000 people will be without power overnight in early June when Hydro One replaces the aging transformer station in Caledonia.
The equipment has reached the end of its lifespan, said Hydro One Indigenous Relations rep Erika Dawson.
“The work is all happening at the station,” she told Six Nations of the Grand River elected council last week. “The work requires a long outage due to the safety of the crew.”
Power will be out from 10 p.m. June 3 to 8 a.m. June 4, 2023.
The project involves the removal and replacement of transformers at the station.
Dawson says Hydro One plans to hold a community information session on the project on Apr. 17 and they will provide a mailer with more information in the coming weeks.
The night of the power outage there will be about 30 crew members at the station.
People can expect to see crews, generators, bright lights, heavy equipment and cranes on site during the project.
There will also be security cameras installed.
“This has been a safety protocol that happens at all of our transformer stations,” said Dawson. “Really it’s for the safety of the equipment and monitoring the equipment inside because it is a live active electrical station.”
The transformer station is located on Hwy. 6 (also known as Argyle Street) just off of Sixth Line on the border between Caledonia and the Six Nations reserve.
It was the site of vandalism during the summer of 2006 when the Caledonia land reclamation protest just a few hundred meters up the road was the subject of almost daily clashes between Six Nations people and Caledonia residents.
Somebody rammed a vehicle into the transformer station, setting it on fire and plunging the town and Six Nations into darkness for days.
Coun. Audrey Powless-Bomberry advised sending out notices about the impending power outage early.
The more information given out to the affected residents, the better, she said.
Coun. Sherri-lyn Hill-Pierce was concerned about residents with sump pumps and the potential for basement flooding if there’s a spring storm and asked if customers would be advised how to use the generators Hydro One is offering to provide for the outage.
Council also noted that it should be specified exactly which areas would be affected, so that customers with high needs, such as those using medical equipment that requires power, as well as hospitals, can prepare.
“We have to be really precise on who it’s going to impact, if you can do that,” said Coun. Helen Miller.
Dawson said she’s provided all the address, as well as a map, of the homes that will be affected to Six Nations Public Works Director Mike Montour.
There was also concern about food spoiling in fridges, with one councillor suggesting not buying too many groceries before the outage.
Council suggested delivering the generators a week early, or, affected customers could spend the night somewhere else with power if needed.
“I’m concerned about the health of the people,” said Coun. Melba Thomas.