• The main causes of power outages are often ice storms, extreme cold, high winds or blizzards.
  • Salt contamination: Salt in the air in coastal areas builds on insulators and equipment causing power outages. This issue is resolved naturally by rainfall cleaning off the insulators or Hydro crews may clean it off manually.
  • Something may fall on a power line by natural causes (e.g. high winds can cause a tree to fall onto a line).
  • Line contacts by contractors and members of the public: contact with power lines can result in a power outage. For contractors, line contacts most often occur when using heavy equipment and machinery (such as excavators, boom trucks, dump trucks). For more information visit under the power line safety section.
  • If a piece of power line infrastructure breaks or something falls onto the power line, the line will trip as a safety precaution and cause a power outage.

There are some circumstances when power outages last more than four to five hours:

  • Extreme weather: There are times when crews cannot travel immediately to the location because of severe weather conditions (roads washed out, remote locations, ferries not crossing, or planes grounded).
  • Mandatory rest times: For safety reasons, crews are only permitted to work for a certain period of time.

For more information on power outages visit:

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