Nova Scotia Power continues to respond to ice storm
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Power crews continue to work through challenging conditions and the thick ice build-up on trees, power lines and equipment brought on by more than 20 hours of freezing rain across much of Nova Scotia.
Digby, Bridgetown and the Lower, Middle Sackville/Beaver Bank areas were particularly hard hit by the freezing rain when it started Friday. On Saturday, there were about 30,000 new outages as the freezing rain continued, with the Antigonish and Sydney areas being the hardest hit.
“We currently have about 600 people – powerline technicians, forestry workers, damage assessors and others – on the ground across the province helping to restore power and hundreds more working behind the scenes supporting our crews and customers,” said Matt Drover, Nova Scotia Power Storm Lead.
Crews have been working around the clock to restore power. About 120,000 customers lost power during the ice storm. As of 10am, crews have safely restored power to about 90,000 of them. Our team continues to work to get power back to the remaining customers as safely and quickly as possible.
The biggest challenge has been the significant ice accumulation on trees causing branches to fall on lines causing outages. Road conditions and storm debris have also slowed our crews from getting to impacted areas as well – particularly in rural Nova Scotia. We continue to work with provincial EMO and Public Works to address these challenges.
Nova Scotia Power activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Friday morning ahead of the storm. The EOC provides a central place to coordinate restoration and response planning and work closely with the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office (EMO). The EOC is staffed with employees from all parts of the company. It will stay in place until the last customer is safely restored.
Power is restored in a specific order once the storm has passed - starting with any emergency safety concerns. It is then restored to the substations and main power lines that bring electricity from power plants to our towns and cities. Critical services identified by the provincial EMO, like hospitals, police, fire, water and communications is next. Then crews move to power lines that will restore power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time (ie. high density buildings or neighbourhoods). Once these repairs are made, crews focus on smaller groups of customers and individuals.
Customers can report outages and get estimated restoration times online at outagemap.nspower.ca or by calling 1-877-428-6004.
- similar to heavy wet snow, ice accumulation can create significant damage in a small area;
- power lines can come down with significant weight of ice on wires and nearby trees/branches;
- the extra weight of snow and ice can bring power lines down and can also break poles and damage equipment, which can also create safety issues for crews working to restore power;
- the impact can vary depending on the amount of ice accumulation, how long it lasts and how fast the system moves across a region/province;
- ice storms can lead to prolonged outages if temperatures stay low as it takes time to get ice off the lines/equipment;
- the impact can also be felt as the ice melts and trees spring back up from the weight of the ice.
About Nova Scotia Power
Nova Scotia Power Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emera Inc. (TSX-EMA), a diversified energy and services company. Nova Scotia Power provides 95% of the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power to more than 525,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers across Nova Scotia. The company is focused on new technologies to enhance customer service and reliability, reduce emissions and add renewable energy. Nova Scotia Power has over 1,700 employees and $4.1 billion in operating assets. Learn more at www.nspower.ca.
NS Power Senior Communications Advisor