January 30, 2018 7:15 pm
Updated: January 31, 2018 6:34 pm

Manitoba Hydro working on new way to contact customers about power outages

WATCH: Manitoba Hydro is planning on rolling out a new way of informing people when the power goes out. Global's Amber McGuckin reports.

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Manitoba Hydro is planning on rolling out a new way of informing people when the power goes out.

Spokesperson Bruce Owen said the information about outages would be shared to customers via an email, phone call or text message.

“The process is underway now, which hopefully will roll out over the next year or two, where a customer who has signed up for My Bill or we know their email address, the number they want to text at or be called at, we will be able to do that,” he said.


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People will have to opt-into the contacting service but would get notices when a power outage is expected as well as any updated information about an unplanned outage.

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People who live near Birds Hill Park were frustrated after an outage left some customers in the dark for nearly 16 hours.

Around 7 a.m. on Monday, 690 customers were without electricity. Throughout the morning some of those customers had their power return, but they weren’t all restored until 11:20 p.m.

Many people in the area wanted more communication from Manitoba Hydro.

READ MORE: Update: Power restored for hundreds of Manitobans after outage lasting more than 12 hours

“[I was] checking the Twitter feed constantly throughout the night,” Lisa McGifford said. “I think they really should have had something really easily accessible on their home page, because not everybody, especially older people, are going to be attached to the Internet.”

McGifford said it’s especially dangerous in rural communities when hydro is a lifeline for people.

“When you’re out here everything is on hydro. There’s no natural gas so that means there’s no water, no water means you can’t water the horses, you can’t drain the pipes easily because the pump has to be active so these are all issues,” she said.

Gerhard Martin has lived in the area for around 30 years. He’s never seen an outage that lasted as long as the one on Monday.

“I was watching television and then all of a sudden everything disappeared and I waited pretty well all day and the power didn’t come back on,” he said.

He relied on information from his neighbours to keep him updated about the outage.

For now the most updated information about power outages across the province can be found online.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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