Crashes resulted in significant damage to Bluewater Power infrastructure

The scene of a collision between a vehicle and a hydro pole in Bright's Grove. July 2021. (Photo provided by Sarnia Police Service)

There have been 19 crashes so far this year, where vehicles slammed into Bluewater Power hydro poles, transformers and brought down power lines.

The most recent was on November 22, when a vehicle collided with a hydro pole on Waterworks Road, knocking out power to about 350 customers.

Bluewater Power President and CEO Janice McMichael-Dennis said the utility does typically see about 20 collisions impacting its infrastructure each year.

She said damage in these types of crashes can range from $10,000 to $100,000.

“We had one particular crash this year, very significant damage; it resulted in a 12 hour outage,” said McMichael Dennis. “So it’s mostly the customer impact. Customers are often without power and of course it’s very sudden and without warning, and can be quite lengthy.”

McMichael-Dennis said the utility deals with the insurance company of the person involved in the accident.

“The good thing is our poles are never at fault. In the unusual case where we have someone driving illegally without insurance, we do have to pursue that person personally for the damages.”

The utility recently tweeted some safety tips for motorists should they be involved in or come across a collision with a hydro pole.