Updated: Power restored in South Mountain communities after ice storm

Jennifer
Jennifer Hoegg
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The lights are back on for New Year's Eve.

Nova Scotia Power confirmed this morning that the customers affected by yesterday's large power outage south of Kentville have been reconnected.

At one point Dec. 30, more than 1,000 NSP customers were in the dark after an overnight storm added to the layers of ice on trees along the South Mountain part of the county.

While the Valley floor received rain, rain and freezing rain left the higher elevations coated in ice.

View a slideshow of photos here.

Trees bent and broke over roadways and some took out power lines and poles, leaving residents without power for 12 to 18 hours.

“The problem got complicated because the effects of the last storm (Dec. 22) were still there that crews were dealing with in terms of ice on trees. Last night’s weather further complicated the issue," NSP spokeswoman Neera Ritcey said Dec. 30.

Nova Scotia Power had 10 tree crews, between six and eight line crews, damage assessment staff and supervisors responding to the outage, Ritcey said. 

"Additional resources were also available to respond to other emerging, smaller events in other areas of the western territory."

New Year's Eve day, Ritcey said power corporation staff were still in the area.

"Crews are still working in both Kingston and in the English Mountain area doing some proactive work in the hardest hit areas today," she said. "It mainly includes clearing overhanging branches and trees that may pose a threat to the lines. The crews will be doing some proactive work on North Mountain as well."

 

"(Dec. 30) we had also patrolled some lines in the broader region to identify any such issues. Our crews will be dealing with anything that arose during those inspections."

Ritcey said there were no major outages remaining in Kings County, but crews were ready if any further damage occurred.

 

 

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Update: 10 p.m. Jan. 30

As of 10 p.m., Nova Scotia Power said there were 142 customers without power in the area.

 

Update: 8 p.m.

As temperatures plunge, there are still Nova Scotia Power customers in the dark south of Kentville.

Company spokeswoman Neera Ritcey said more than 700 homes were reconnected just after 7 p.m. Crews hoped to connecte the remaining customers - 285 at 8 p.m. - by 9 p.m. around the communities of Highbury, North Alton, South Alton, Welton Landing, Forest Home, Murphy Lake, Blue Mountain, Aldersville, Casey Corner, Canaan, Prospect, Mcgee Lake, Lake George, Lake Paul, Parker Meadows and East Dalhousie.

See the NSP outage map here.

Ice on trees was the reason for the outage, which included more than 1,000 homes at one point during the day, Ritcey confirmed.

“The problem got complicated because the effects of the last storm (Dec. 22) were still there that crews were dealing with in terms of ice on trees. Last night’s weather further complicated the issue," she said.

Nova Scotia Power had 10 tree crews, between six and eight line crews, damage assessment staff and supervisors responding to the outage, Ritcey said. 

"Additional resources were also available to respond to other emerging, smaller events in other areas of the western territory."

For anyone without power who needs a warm place to stay, Red Cross volunteers are staffing the Kentville fire hall as a "warming centre."

"It has been more than 12 hours without heat" for some residents, Chief Ryan MacEachern noted.

Municipality of Kings official Brian Desloges said the decision to open the fire hall was made in conversation with Regional Emergency Measures officials and Nova Scotia Power.

The men saw what the ice had done to trees and electrical equipment in the area when the fire department responded to power lines arcing near Highway 12.

"The damage is huge," Desloges said.

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Earlier story

After an almost 12-hour power outage in communities south of Kentville, the fire department is opening its hall to those in need of warmth.

According to Nova Scotia Power, more than 1,000 customers have been without power since about 5 a.m. this morning. A restoration time of 8 p.m. is now estimated.

Temperatures in Kentville are now just above freezing, but are forecast to plummet to minus 15 C overnight.

Customers impacted are in the communities of Highbury, North Alton, South Alton, Welton Landing, Forest Home, Murphy Lake, Blue Mountain, Aldersville, Casey Corner, Canaan, Prospect, McGee Lake, Lake George, Lake Paul, Parker Meadow and East Dalhousie.

Kentville firefighters also responded to a call about power lines arcing in the area along Highway 12.

More to come.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: Kentville, Highbury, North Alton Alton Forest Home Murphy Lake Blue Mountain Lake George Dalhousie

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