Crews scramble to restore power to thousands in N.S.
Published Tuesday, December 26, 2017 6:24AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 26, 2017 7:26PM EST
Thousands are still without power in Nova Scotia after fierce Christmas Day winds brought down power lines across the province.
“We are working very hard,” Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Sasha Irving told CTV News Channel Tuesday morning. “We have over 650 people working on this storm today.”
Lashed by wind gusts of more than 100 km/h Monday as a massive storm system battered Atlantic Canada with a mix of rain, snow and freezing rain, tens of thousands of Nova Scotians were forced to spend Christmas Day in the dark.
“We had 158,000 customers off at our peak -- we’re making some excellent progress,” Nova Scotia Power president and CEO Karen Hutt told CTV News Tuesday afternoon. “It’s been just a vicious storm and it has dropped damage all along the way, so at this point, we have crews spread all across the province.”
Hutt said that she expects 90 per cent of customers to have power back by 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. The vast majority of Nova Scotians, she added, should be reconnected to the grid by noon Wednesday.
“We will have crews literally working all through the night,” she said. “We will not stop until the last customer is on.”
Weather conditions, fortunately, have since stabilized in Nova Scotia. Halifax, for example, is expected to have a daytime high of -2 C, though winds will continue to gust at up to 50 km/h. In areas that are still without power, Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office has opened comfort centres where people can get warm and have a meal and advised people to be especially careful of carbon monoxide when using alternative heating sources.
“There have been events in the past that have tragic results where people are looking to warm up as a result of power outages,” Emergency Management Office Executive Director Paul Mason told CTV Atlantic.
Crews from New Brunswick have also arrived to help, though the extent of the storm damage means that the work to restore power will be painstaking, Irving said.
“Because of the significantly high winds yesterday, they’re seeing lots of downed trees on lines, broken branches, and in some localized areas we’re seeing broken poles, which is unusual,” Irving explained. “It really goes to show the significance of the winds yesterday and the impact they had on the system.”
A interactive map of the outage is available on Nova Scotia Power’s website.
The other Atlantic provinces were also hit by a storm Christmas Day, though they have not reported significant power outages.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April and The Canadian Press
Less than 24 hours since the Christmas Day storm that raged across Nova Scotia reached its peak, NS Power has restored electricity to more than 90% of customers. Crews will continue to work until every customer can turn their lights back on.https://t.co/WD9NFRZUMn— Nova Scotia Power (@nspowerinc) December 27, 2017
As of 12:30 p.m. today, we've restored power to more than 128,000 customers. Crews continue restoration across the province. Pls stay away from downed electrical equipment. Report outages/damage at 1-877-428-6004 & latest at https://t.co/cKMppFqg0n. Some images from the storm. pic.twitter.com/Q31dKABTiy— Nova Scotia Power (@nspowerinc) December 26, 2017
Images from Dartmouth this morning showing downed wire caused by the storm. If you spot a hazardous situation, such a downed wire, please report it to us right away at 1-877-428-6004. Stay safe everyone pic.twitter.com/4wUICYjj5w— Nova Scotia Power (@nspowerinc) December 26, 2017