HALIFAX, NS – Nova Scotia Power is making progress restoring electricity to customers across the province after powerful winds and heavy rains swept through the province Monday and continued to cause power outages today.
The utility has 95 Nova Scotia Power and contract crews working on restoring power to customers, plus 27 crews dedicated to removing trees from lines.
More than 122,000 customers have had their power restored since the beginning of the storm on Monday morning, with approximately 45,000 customers remaining without power. New outages continued to occur throughout the morning and early afternoon in the eastern region and in Cape Breton as the higher than predicted winds and gusts caused damaged trees to fall on to lines.
Monday’s storm brought sustained winds of 80 kilometres per hour across the province. Sydney, Cape Breton, which was particularly hard hit, experienced hurricane force winds of 116 km/h, and approximately 220 millimetres of rain caused extensive flooding. The storm stalled over Nova Scotia, which caused those sustained winds to last longer than anticipated.
“Washed out roads and flooding are impacting our ability to get to some outage areas as power crews work tirelessly to restore electricity to customers,” said Storm Lead, Steve Pothier.
The vast majority of outages are caused by trees and branches weakened by the sustained winds falling on to power line. “Trees are still full of leaves at this time of year, and that creates a lot of sail for the wind to push around,” Pothier said.
“Due to the flood waters, there may also be structural damage to poles due to water erosion that we may not be able to know until the water subsides,” he said.
NS Power opened its Emergency Operations Centre Monday and is working with the provincial Emergency Management Office to prioritize restoration efforts for customers
The majority of customers in the western and central regions of the province who lost power will be restored by 6 p.m. today. Due to flood waters and inaccessible roads, the damage in many areas in the eastern part of the province has been difficult to assess. As field crews assess the damage, some estimated restoration times in the area will need to change. The majority of customers in the east and Cape Breton will now have power restored by 11am Thursday morning; some customers will have their power restored before that time.
NS Power would like to remind customers to consider all downed wires to be energized and keep a safe distance from them. Customers are asked to report outages, electrical hazards or damage by calling 1-877-428-6004. The most up to date outage information is available at outagemap.nspower.ca