A vehicle that crashed into a hydro pole wreaked more havoc in the city than originally thought.
In the early hours of Oct. 20, a Brandon man smashed into a Manitoba Hydro pole on the 1000-block of Richmond Avenue, causing a seven-hour power outage for some Brandon residents.
While the outage was inconvenient for homeowners, a power surge caused by the collision has proven costly.
Cable boxes, TVs, digital cameras, phones, appliances and even a hot tub were among some of the casualties of the surge, rendering the devices useless.
“Who is going to pay to fix all of it?” asked one resident, who wished to remain anonymous. “We’ve been told to go through our home insurance, but that affects our premiums and rates in the future. I don’t think we should have to pay for something that isn’t our fault.”
The homeowner said she has been in contact with Manitoba Hydro to see if its insurance would cover the damage due to the surge.
“They told me to speak to (Manitoba Public Insurance), that his car insurance might cover it,” she said. “No one really seems to know what is going on.”
MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said the company is looking into the surge.
“We are aware of what is happening and we have spoken to some of the residents and are aware of their concerns,” Smiley said. “It is still very early in the investigation and we are still gathering all of the information that we need in order to do our due diligence.”
MPI has told some of the affected homeowners that they can go through their home insurance, a process that would get residents their devices back sooner, but would come at a cost in the form of premiums.
“Why should we lose or have to pay anything?” the affected homeowner said. “We have a squeaky clean record for insurance and have worked hard to keep it that way. I do not believe this is our responsibility, but no one seems to want to step up and take it.”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 31, 2013