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Nova Scotia Power says bulk of restoration work may not happen until Wednesday

'In high wind conditions, crews need to make case-by-case assessments of whether it is safe to be up in buckets,' says Matt Drover, Nova Scotia Power storm lead
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(stock photo)

NEWS RELEASE
NOVA SCOTIA POWER
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Nova Scotia Power is responding to a major winter storm that is forecast to bring a messy mix of heavy, wet snow, strong winds and rain to the province over the next 24 hours.

“This is a slow-moving winter storm that will create very challenging conditions for crews,” said Matt Drover, Nova Scotia Power storm lead. “In Halifax and central Nova Scotia, many of the impacts will happen over tonight. We have crews ready to respond during the night time hours, but the bulk of work won’t be able to begin until tomorrow, given the expected track and timing of the storm. As well, in high wind conditions, crews need to make case-by-case assessments of whether it is safe to be up in buckets.”

Nova Scotia Power has more than 700 people dedicated to storm response today, including powerline technicians, forestry crews, damage assessors, engineers, wiring inspectors, safety specialists, customer care associates, work planners and supervisors. Crews will begin restoring power as soon as it’s safe to do so, but when winds are gusting above 80 km/h, they have to make on-site assessments of whether to stand down for safety.

“Our planning is well in hand,” Drover said. “We have powerline crews, forestry teams and damage assessors in place across the province. At this point we have 200 powerline technicians on the ground, and we continue to work to access additional external crews, as they become available.”

Neighbouring utilities have prepared for the same storm. Once their crews have addressed restoration requirements in their own territory, Nova Scotia Power will be able to receive additional crews from those utilities through mutual assistance agreements. These are agreements through which participating utilities regularly provide additional resources to one another during major storms, in order to more quickly restore service to customers.

Nova Scotia Power is urging customers to be prepared for outages and to plan for their safety. This is the third storm to hit in a week, and is expected to be the most impactful of the three. Crews are stationed around the province in advance to be ready to respond as quickly as it is safe to do so. Nova Scotia Power will also coordinate with provincial and municipal transportation departments as needed to assist with access to outage locations based on local conditions.

Nova Scotia Power has been monitoring the storm, planning response, and securing resources for several days. The company activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at 8 p.m. yesterday (MONDAY). The EOC provides centralized coordination of outage restoration planning and response, as well as liaison with the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office (EMO). The EOC is staffed with employees representing all aspects of the company, and it will maintain operation until the last customer is safely restored. 


Customer Safety 


Your safety is the number one priority. If you see a downed wire, please stay away and report it to us at 1-877-428-6004. If you are concerned about an immediate public or personal safety risk, please call 911. 

Nova Scotia Power encourages customers to plan for their safety. Some tips include:
• Monitoring local weather forecasts
• Ensuring backup generators are installed properly outdoors
• Charging electronic devices
• If you lose power, turn off and unplug electrical equipment, such as televisions and computers to
prevent damage when power is restored.
• Visit www.nspower.ca/stormready for a full list of safety and storm preparedness tips. 

Outage Information

Customers can report outages by calling Nova Scotia Power at 1-877-428-6004. Customers can get their latest estimated restoration by calling Nova Scotia Power at 1-877-428-6004 or checking outagemap.nspower.ca.

Restoration Priorities

In situations where there are multiple power outages, Nova Scotia Power restores power in phases to ensure critical services like hospitals can stay open before beginning work in other areas. Larger outages on transmission lines and in substations are restored ahead of smaller outages to restore electricity to the greatest number of customers.

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