May 25, 2016 3:03 pm
Updated: May 25, 2016 6:42 pm

Fort McMurray wildfire: How to see if your power and natural gas are back on

WATCH ABOVE: The first wave of re-entry into the community by evacuees is still on track to begin June 1. First access will be given to those living in Anzac, downtown, the Fort McMurray First Nation and Gregoire Lake Estates. The re-entry will continue every day after with the hardest-hit areas scheduled last. Kendra Slugoski has more on what to expect.

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Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees can now check an online tool to see if the electricity and natural gas have been turned back on in their homes.

The ATCO Utility Restoration Map shows the electricity status of individual properties (with green or red dots), and natural gas status of neighbourhoods.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Behind-the-scenes account of preparing community for residents to come home

Blue shaded areas have natural gas service; red shaded areas do not. Likewise, green dots represent homes that have had their power restored, while red dots are for homes still in the dark.

Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees can now check an online tool to see if the electricity and natural gas have been turned back on in their homes.

Screenshot of the ATCO Utility Restoration Map

Fire damaged some of ATCO’s infrastructure, meaning it will be some time before regular electricity and natural gas service will resume for some customers.

ATCO also released a list breaking down the outages by neighbourhood (see image below). The utility company said it was the best information it had available at the moment.

ATCO-power-neighbourhoods

Tips for owners when they return home

Tens of thousands of people were forced to suddenly evacuate the northeastern Alberta community at the beginning of this month when a nearby wildfire took off. Some people fled their homes with very little notice, others weren’t even able to get home before being forced out by mandatory evacuations.

As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the wildfire was estimated to cover 566,188 hectares, including 4,600 hectares in Saskatchewan.

Here’s a look at the Fort McMurray re-entry plan, tentatively scheduled to begin Wednesday, June 1.

Tonia Huynh, Global News

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A four-day phased re-entry will begin on June 1. Thousands of homes have sat untouched for three weeks, much of that time without utilities.

If a residence is shown on the map to have electricity but owners return home to find that’s not the case, they’re asked to check their main electric panel and breaker for any blown fuses or tripped breakers. ATCO said simply moving any tripped switches to the ‘on’ position can restore electricity. If this doesn’t restore electricity, residents were asked to call the Electricity 24/7 emergency outage line at 1-800-668-5506.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: ‘We expect weeks, if not months, fighting this fire

Because workers are still restoring electricity infrastructure damaged during the fire, returning residents are asked to go through their house and unplug any unnecessary appliances to reduce the load.

ATCO said it is unable to identify, house by house, how long the electricity was out, therefore it asked people to assume all perishables are no longer fit for consumption.

Customers who contacted their utility company to end electricity or natural gas service are asked to please call them to reactivate the account.

Below is a tip sheet for restoring electricity and natural gas services to your home.

 

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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