NEWS

Calgary power outage: Downtown to be re-energized at 5 a.m. Thursday after fire damage

10/15/2014 05:54 EDT | Updated 12/15/2014 05:59 EST
The power outage repairs in the west end of downtown Calgary following a weekend fire are going better than expected, say city officials.

Crews are on track to re-energize downtown Calgary at 5 a.m. MT on Thursday.

"The end is in sight," said Mayor NaheedNenshi.

But Nenshi doesn't want people to rush home at that time. He says workers still need to make sure all of the systems are operating safely.

"This has been a major rebuild, so we may encounter some issues," said Enmax CEO and president Gianna Manes.

All buildings must be inspected before residents and businesses can return. 

When residents do return, they are being asked to throw out spoiled food. 

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) deputy chief Tom Sampson said rotten food can be be bagged and left in the street for pickup.

The outage was sparked by a fire that happened underground in a manhole located at Eighth Street and Fifth Avenue S.W. 

Saturday’s fire did extensive damage to the area's electrical infrastructure, which cut power to about 5,000 people and 2,100 businesses for five days.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The city says the total cost of the repairs and other associated costs, such as putting up residents in hotels, is not yet known.

Enmax says work will continue to rebuild the damaged system to prevent further problems.

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