Nova Scotia Power mobilizes 300 crews ready to deal with power outages
Nova Scotia Power chief operating officer Mark Sidebottom (right) answers a question during a briefing this morning with EMO and hurricane centre officials (COURTESY COMMUNICATIONS NOVA SCOTIA)
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia Power says it has approximately 300 crews ready to respond to any power outages that might be caused by Hurricane Teddy.
The power utility normally draws on crews from outside the province during major storms and this is no exception, says Mark Sidebottom, Nova Scotia Power's chief operating officer.
In a briefing with EMO and hurricane centre officials, Sidebottom says Nova Scotia Power has been planning for this possibility over the summer and has been able to call on 170 crews from within the Atlantic bubble. The rest of the crews, about 130, are Nova Scotia power staff or contractors already in the province.
Nova Scotia Power says in a news release that its storm response team of 1,000 people includes "power line technicians, forestry crews, planners, damage assessors, engineers, communication experts, and customer care representatives."
"With rain and wind forecasts anticipated to be above 80 km/h for an extended period of time, we anticipate potentially two separate peaks of the storm, on Tuesday evening and through the day on Wednesday," Sidebottom said. "Safety is our top priority and we want our customers to know we are ready to respond, as soon as it is safe to do so."
The crews are evenly distributed across the province because of the large size of the storm, Sidebottom says.
"We have a good spread across the province for initial response," he said. "We are making sure that we taking this storm seriously."
The storm has been downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm, but is still expected to bring a storm surge, rain, and high winds to much of the province. The eye of the storm is expected to make landfall near the border of Halifax Regional Municipality and Guysborough County on Wednesday morning.
Sidebottom also says that Nova Scotia Power has spent about $20 million since last fall to "storm-harden the system" by cutting branches and trees near power lines.
As with every storm, power outages will be prioritized, Nova Scotia Power says.
"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," the utility said in a news release. "Larger outages on transmission lines and in substations are restored ahead of smaller outages to restore electricity to the greatest number of customers."
Nova Scotia Power reminded people that if they lose power, to turn off and unplug electrical equipment, such as televisions and computers to prevent damage when power is restored.
Customers can report outages and get estimated restoration times online at outagemap.nspower.ca or by calling Nova Scotia Power at 1-877-428-6004. Estimated restoration times will be posted and updated as our crews assess the damage.
On Prince Edward Island, where a Tropical Storm Watch has been issue, Maritime Electric has been warning customers to be prepared.
New Brunswick is not expected to get the high winds that Nova Scotia and P.E.I. will get, but NB Power is still warning customers to be prepared by having a storm kit.