N.B. power grid could be tested again by weekend storm
Published Friday, November 9, 2018 11:06PM AST
This weekend's weather will provide another test of this region's electrical grid, a grid that showed serious vulnerabilities last weekend.
It’s coming before some have yet to fully recover from the last storm.
Cheryl Addison's property is still littered with evidence of the big trees that fell here last weekend, in a violent storm that she says, arrived without warning.
“If I would have known what was going to happen in my backyard, I would have packed the dog and my son in the car and taken off for parts unknown,” Addison said. “I would have left the house though.”
Her home lost electricity too, along with more than 100,000 other NB Power customers.
In some areas, particularly around Fredericton, the grid suffered severe damage, far more damage than anyone was anticipating.
“It should be an eye-opener to anyone who thought that they were immune to the possibility of power disruptions or weather events in general,” said Bill Lawlor of Red Cross Disaster Services.
As of Friday, NB Power is still trying to reconnect pockets of customers who are off the grid, and have been for almost a week, with more heavy weather on the way.
Looking ahead to the weekend, NP Power says it has pre-positioned more than 30 crews in locations expected to be hardest hit including the southeast, southwest and northwestern areas of the province.
In Nova Scotia, emergency measures is also watching the approaching storm, and getting ready.
“We've been in contact with our key stakeholders, municipalities as well as Nova Scotia Power,” said Jason Mew of the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office. “We're not looking at a lot of power outages, but there could be some localized outages.”
In addition to the weather warnings, Maritimers are being warned about, complacency.
“If you made it through unscathed during this last weather event, that's a not a reason to sit back and say, you know, I don't think I have to prepare for anything this weekend,” Lawlor said.
Addison is hopeful she is spared.
“If something like this happens again, I hope that I don't lose more, because I still have many big trees,” she said. “This could happen again.”
All the utilities in the Maritimes will have crews on standby this weekend -- including in Saint John.
Last weekend, the grid in the city was relatively unscathed. In fact, Saint John Energy crews spent much of the past week, in the Kennebecasis Valley, helping to repair the NB Power grid.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.