PUBLIC SAFETY ADVISORY: Hydro advises of safety risk due to ice buildup on power lines in Southern Labrador (St. Paul River/Forteau/ L’Anse au Loup)

December 15th, 2022

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is advising residents of Southern Labrador, in particular the St. Paul River/Forteau/L’Anse au Loup area, to use extreme caution when travelling by snowmobile, as there is significant ice buildup on transmission lines. Heavy ice can fall from overhead lines posing a safety risk and endangering anyone below.

Hydro has also seen damage to some towers in the area due to the accumulation of ice. The damage is isolated to a communication line and does not pose any risk to public safety.

Hydro is immediately mobilizing crews to the area to assess damage and conduct repairs. Residents can expect increased traffic with heavy equipment, snow clearing equipment, cranes and contractors in the area. Hydro is therefore advising snowmobilers and other members of the public to avoid the area in the coming weeks due to safety hazards.

Hydro reminds everyone to use caution and safe practices near all power lines and electrical facilities when enjoying outdoor activities this winter. While transmission line right-of ways may appear to be an ideal trail for outdoor activities and recreational vehicles, it’s best to avoid them given the hazards, such as guy wires, that can often be difficult to spot.

Be safe near transmission lines:

  • Make yourself visible
  • Avoid rights-of-way
  • Have 360 degree awareness – Look up, down, left and right to identify potential hazards
  • Be aware of your surroundings and nearby transmission infrastructure
  • Watch for overhead ice and snow that may fall from lines and towers
  • Respect safety signage and restricted areas
  • Be aware of uneven terrain

If you encounter a downed line, stay back 15 metres (49 feet), and call us immediately at 1-888-737-1296.

Media Contact:

Jill Pitcher
Senior Communications Advisor, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
t. 709.737.1219 / c. 709.689.9938 e.