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UPDATED: NSP shuts down power to Masstown residents during cold snap for non-emergency upgrades

The Nova Scotia Power outage map is indicating multiple outages in the Masstown area today as a result of non-emergency upgrades to the the line system.
The Nova Scotia Power outage map is indicating multiple outages in the Masstown area today as a result of non-emergency upgrades to the the line system. - FILE GRAPHIC

Power restored shortly after 2 p.m.

MASSTOWN, N.S.

Approximately 200 customers are being subjected today to an eight-hour planned outage by Nova Scotia Power (NSP).

And, that is raising questions for many residents, said Colchester County Councillor Tom Taggart, who wondered why the non-emergency work has be undertaken in such frigid weather.

“I understand they have to upgrade their wires but it’s 15 below here today,” he said. “Could they not have postponed this until a warmer day.

Customers in the Masstown and Lower Debert area received notices by telephone on Monday and Tuesday that their power would be shut off between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

“And that’s to replace aging equipment and allow us to strengthen service reliability for our customers,” Tiffany Chase said.

Chase said NSP has nine crews working to upgrade the system to higher-voltage wires to allow for more capacity and to improve the efficiency of the system to make allow for easier rerouting so that power can be restored faster to customers affected by unplanned storm outages.

The work is part of a larger capital upgrade, she said, with quite a bit of preparation work having been done previously to minimize today’s down time.

“But this portion of the work, in order to carry it out safely, required us to take the power interruption for approximately 200 customers in the area,” Chase said.

As far as the timing of the shutdown, the work had already been postponed on several occasions because of inclement weather and NSP did not want to have to extend it further into the winter months.

“We simply feel the risk is too high for greater damage to the system or a more significant outage for customers if we wait to undertake this work,” she said. “We recognize there are colder temperatures this time of year and we don’t want to wait until we get into January and potentially a longer cold snap.”

Although the shutdown was scheduled to last until 4 p.m., Chase said the work was completed shortly after 2 p.m.

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