PEI power surge causes damage

PISQUID, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND - A power surge in eastern P.E.I. wrecked TVs, computers and household appliances and left farmers struggling to take care of their livestock.

Residents on Mount Stewart Road in the Pisquid area were the first to notice the problem.

Lloyd Jay, who operates a beef cattle farm on Mount Stewart Road, said a power surge flashed through his lines at 3 a.m., breaking his water pump and many appliances.

"We had a big bang outside our house," he said. "Fireballs came out of the plug-ins, woke my two girls up. Power came back on around 9 and we started figuring out there'd be no water for the cattle, no TVs, no computers."

His cattle were without water for most of the day as he struggled to find a backup source.

A Maritime Electric official said a high voltage line coming in contact with a low voltage line created the power surge that ran through many of the homes on Mount Stewart Road.

The company said it will send out damage claim forms and will investigate all claims.

Hellen Laybolt said she lost power bars, a satellite dish and many appliances.

"My TVs, my VCRs, my DVDs - everything was all blown. " she said.

Alvin Jay, who runs a dairy farm, said the power surge caused an estimated $10,000 damage and disrupted the day's milking schedule.

"There's a lot of automation involved and basically all of the circuitry in the barn blew," he said. "The fuses went and the fuses can be replaced, but the circuit boards themselves actually blew."

Dan Ross lost a stove, dishwasher, TV and DVD player in the surge. He finally reached Maritime Electric on his cellphone.

"They are going to come out with a settlement, but basically what he told me is we should be going through our insurance because they'll give us a better deal than what they're going to give us," he said.


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