Nova Scotia Power blames worse than predicted storm for outage response problems

The Canadian Press
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HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Power says higher than forecast winds in areas with an abundance of roadside trees were among the challenges it faced in restoring electricity to tens of thousands of customers following post-tropical storm Arthur.

A large uprooted tree rests against a house in Oakland, N.S. on Saturday, July 5, 2014. Thousands of homes and businesses were without power as heavy rains and high winds from tropical storm Arthur buffeted the region.

The power company filed a report to the province’s Utility and Review Board today outlining its response to the July 5 storm.

In the 172-page report, the utility acknowledges the considerable impact to customers who waited days for their power to be restored after the storm hit.

But Nova Scotia Power says it successfully restored service on a timeline consistent with other utilities in North America.

The company says while its damage prediction model for emergency restoration didn’t fail, the forecast used for planning purposes significantly underestimated the storm’s impact.

It also says its communications systems were swamped due to more calls from customers than ever before and capacity was reduced after technical problems occurred with its telecommunications supplier.

In the Annapolis Valley, which experienced the greatest damage from falling trees, Nova Scotia Power says its past trimming efforts were light because of narrower rights of way and a lack of support from property owners and municipal governments who want to preserve ornamental trees.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, Utility and Review Board

Geographic location: North America, Annapolis Valley

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