Berwick firefighters called out during March 26 blizzard

Nancy Kelly
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Berwick Fire Chief Laurie Saunders File

As winds gusted at hurricane-force strength and blowing and drifting snow caused whiteout conditions on March 26, the Berwick Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene of power line problems in two communities on the outskirts of Berwick.

Fire Chief Laurie Saunders reported the first of two calls came in at 8:45 p.m.  for power lines arcing on Taylor Road, south of Berwick.  Just before 11 p.m. another call was received for downed power lines, this one from Somerset.

The department dispatched its four-wheel drive vehicle to the scenes and Saunders, who attended both calls, acknowledged the driving conditions were very poor.  

“The visibility was probably the worst of it,” said Saunders.

The normal protocol for the department in situations involving Nova Scotia Power equipment is to stay put and monitor the scene until an NSP crew arrives. That was not the case during the blizzard.

“There was no visible fire, just arcing wires, and we knew it would be sometime before (NSP) could get there, so we made the judgement call to leave the scene. But we had to check it out first,” said Saunders, adding each call took a half hour to complete.

According to the Kings County Fire and Emergency Calls Facebook page, Berwick was the only department to be called out during the blizzard.


Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, Berwick Volunteer Fire Department

Geographic location: Berwick, Taylor Road, Somerset

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