While the sight of frost-covered trees is one of the more beautiful winter prairie sights one can see, the hoarfrost signals trouble for others.
In the past several weeks, the Stettler County area has been subject to “frost fog,” which leaves behind thick coats of hoarfrost on every possible surface.
That surface includes power lines, and the weight of the frost-downed power lines or caused lines to come into contact with each other and cause shortages. Several locations in ATCO Electric’s service area east of the Town of Stettler – east to Veteran, north to Forestburg, and south to Hanna, experienced power outages throughout the week.
Lindsay Langan was one of the residents affected by multiple outages.
“I think we had three,” she said. “We had two that lasted upwards of 12 hours and a third shorter one.”
Langan, who lives north of Botha with her husband and five children, reside in a custom-built home designed to meet the needs of their large family. It’s heated by an outdoor wood furnace – which stops functioning when the power is out.
“It takes a very long time for the house to heat up again,” Langan explained.
Her home is serviced by an on-property well, which also stops working when there’s no electricity to power the pumps. Langan noted she and her family are fairly self-sufficient, but when she pays a power bill of more than $500 a month, she said she expects service to be more reliable.
“This isn’t the first time this has happened,” she said. “Since we’ve been here, we’ve had to replace two refrigerators and a freezer, and a computer due to power surges. And they were on surge protectors.”