Toronto Hydro’s Aging System Buckled under Ice Storm Pressure

Toronto Star investigation shows computer system couldn’t handle volume of public calls and dispatched hydro workers to homes that had power.

The hydro crisis during the ice storm was made worse by a busted radio system and a computer system that couldn’t handle the number of customer calls.  A Toronto Star investigation quotes Toronto Hydro employees who say they were forced into a queue when they called into the control room to get power restored to homes where repairs had already been completed.  Because of this, the report states that some crews were dispatched to homes that already had power. 

Hydro employees also tell the Star that the radio system failed one day because two back-up generators died, resulting in a radio outage of 45 minutes.  

Last week Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines announced that an expert panel would be set up to review the utility’s response to the ice storm that coated the GTA on December 22nd, leaving some 300,000 people in the city of Toronto alone, without power.

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  1. Angry Bill posted on 01/13/2014 10:42 AM
    Well, I think we all know how expert panels work. They'll eventually come up with recommendations, which will be lauded by the government and hydro big wigs, and then promptly ignored. Because, you know, it'll be summer, and everyone knows that people's memories are short.

    Until next time, at which point they'll have another expert panel to look into why it happened again.
  2. franklin posted on 01/13/2014 11:22 AM
    Will people fall for such spin? Trimming the tree canopy before storms and having online forms for reporting outages would salve most all probrlams here, at little extra cost to taxpayers.
  3. Karl Burgin posted on 01/13/2014 02:05 PM
    Maybe they should go buy a new computer that can handle both phone calls, and email requests. New or used shouldn't cost more than $1000- and to get it setup another $750.
    They'll probably find a way for it be $20,000+ and pass on the upgrades to their golden goose of the customer.
  4. Angry Bill posted on 01/13/2014 02:37 PM
    Here's the fiscal reality... The cost of cleaning up after the odd ice storm is only a tiny fraction of what it would cost to put everything underground. This is why I don't think there'll be any significant changes.
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