Fix Sumas Prairie power

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​Since July, Abbotsford residents in the Sumas Prairie area have been experiencing brief power outages several times a week. At times, our power goes out (and then comes back on) several times a day.

In eight months, between July 4, 2017 and February 21, 2018, one farmer has recorded 102 outages.

Not only has this been inconvenient, it has led to financial losses, broken equipment and extra work for farmers, business owners and residents.

The endless outages have resulted in costly repairs - from farm machinery to large household appliances. It is unclear what damage 102 outages has had on the longevity of equipment that is still working.

Dairy farmers are losing milk, and outages during milkings are distressing for cows. Business owners are missing work orders and messages.

Resetting equipment after each flicker also takes significant time, especially when several outages happen in the span of one morning or afternoon, and this has created extra work and led to missed appointments.

Although less significant than the business losses, for homeowners, setting an alarm clock, or a crockpot, or recording a TV show have become unreliable endeavours. Outages are a nuisance for parents trying to get their kids to sleep when beeping appliances are constantly resetting. The church and school have also been impacted.

Hundreds of calls have been made to BC Hydro to report this problem. Residents have been told over and over that BC Hydro will address the situation. Yet, there has been no discernible improvement. In one recent week, Feb. 17-24, there were 15 outages, according to the temperature log on a milk tank. 

We pay our hydro bills, but we are getting service that would never be acceptable in more urban neighbourhoods, despite the farms in this area being an economic driver for our city. Please fix this problem!

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