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Major Power Failure Across Northeast US and Most of Ontario

August 14, 2003

Statement by Bruce Campbell, Vice President, Corporate & Legal Affairs, IMO
August 14, 2003 @ 8:00 p.m. EDT, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

As you are aware there has been a major power failure across the Northeast US and most of Ontario that has not extended beyond Wawa in Northwestern Ontario. The IMO has activated its emergency plan and is working closely with electricity market participants and neighbouring utilities outside Ontario to restore the grid as soon as possible. 

Assessments are underway, but at this point the cause of the outage is unknown and it will be some time before the cause is determined. The transmission system is being restored piece by piece across the province and generators are starting to be connected to the system. 

Expect that it will be some hours before any load will be restored to consumers. Restoration of service will be gradual as the transmission system is stabilized and additional generation can be brought on-line. 

We would like to emphasize two important messages for people as power is restored. 

When your power comes back on please use it only for essential needs. It will take time to get all the generation reconnected. This could take a couple of days, so if people can help us by using less, that would be a significant help. 

Don't be alarmed if power is disrupted periodically. This is a normal part of balancing the restoration across the province and we may have to rotate the power supply as we go forward. 

We appreciate your patience and will keep you informed as the situation progresses.