Nova Scotia Power thanks customers, de-escalates Dorian response

HALIFAX – Today Nova Scotia Power began demobilizing its emergency response to Hurricane Dorian.

“On behalf of Nova Scotia Power and the hundreds of contract crews who joined us in battling back from Hurricane Dorian, we would like to thank our customers for their words of encouragement and acts of kindness over the past week,” said Karen Hutt, President and CEO, Nova Scotia Power. “Dorian’s destruction was unprecedented, and so was your support.

“The coordination and cooperation of the Emergency Management Office, Province of Nova Scotia, Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Red Cross and policing agencies was like no other and allowed us to collectively and safely respond to the needs of Nova Scotians.”

At its peak, Dorian knocked out power to 411,000 customers. Over the ensuing week, more than 50,000 additional outages occurred, most caused by weakened trees.

On the front lines, more than 1,300 power line technicians, forestry technicians and damage assessors worked to repair Dorian’s destruction, supported behind the scenes by hundreds of personnel working on planning, engineering, logistics, customer care, information technology, safety and communications.

“Throughout Nova Scotia Power, every employee stepped up to serve our customers, whether it was making personal calls to check in on customers who were awaiting restoration, or working to set up cots for crews sleeping at CFB Shearwater and Camp Aldershot, kindly made available through the Canadian Armed Forces,” Hutt said. “Everyone on the front lines and behind the scenes – including our crews, contractors, traffic control teams and emergency response partners – was focused on the safety of Nova Scotians and those responding to Dorian.”

In thanks for the support of customers, local business owners and its emergency response partners, Nova Scotia Power and its parent company Emera are donating $50,000 to Feed Nova Scotia on behalf of its employees and contractors.

“Feed Nova Scotia is able to assist those most in need, and this donation will help in that work,” Hutt said. “We want to express our gratitude to our customers in communities throughout Nova Scotia, as well as the many, many business owners who went above and beyond to provide food, accommodations, and supplies over the past week. They were essential to our recovery from Dorian.”

Nova Scotia Power’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), which activated at noon September 6 to plan and coordinate the company’s response to Hurricane Dorian, will remain activated until the final customer is restored. Nova Scotia Power continues to work with a small number of property owners who must have their own equipment repaired before their power can be reconnected. Additionally, crews are working on islands off Indian Point in Mahone Bay and the LaHave Islands, where Dorian took down several poles and several hundred metres of power lines. Crews and equipment must be transported to the islands by helicopter or boat. That work is underway and Nova Scotia Power continues to work closely with those customers as the team completes the full repairs over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Other Nova Scotia Power crews will now shift to previously scheduled customer work, which was on hold while Dorian damage was repaired. As well, Nova Scotia Power is retaining some contract crews to patrol lines and help clean up trees that were weakened by Dorian and pose a threat to power lines.

“This was a historic storm and a historic response,” Hutt said. “We will take away learnings that will make us even better prepared for the next one, but for now, our teams will begin to get some much-needed rest and return to their daily work.”