Baillie touring Valley areas struck hard by Arthur

Jennifer Vardy Little jlittle@kingscountynews.ca
Published on July 8, 2014

Jamie Baillie wants to see first hand some of the damage caused by Arthur.

The PC leader is in Kings County today to meet people who have been without power since the post-tropical storm ripped through the area and view the damage that was left behind.

Preliminary data shows the Annapolis Valley as the site of the strongest winds produced by post-tropical storm Arthur, with Greenwood recording wind gusts up to 138 kilometres per hour. As of 9 a.m. on July 8, there were still 17,791 people without power. Of those, the greatest concentration was in Kings County, where 7,391 people were still off line.

Meanwhile, the province issued a press release advising residents along the South Shore and Annapolis Valley that workers were doing their best to clear up downed trees and re-open closed roads.

“One of the reasons I’m in the Valley today is to visit one of the areas hit worst by the storm and see the restoration efforts,” Baillie said.

Baillie’s Tories have called Nova Scotia Power to task in the days since Arthur struck, saying Nova Scotia Power’s profits should be penalized when acceptable standards of service aren’t met.

“I want to be clear – I am very impressed with the work of the people on the ground, clearing off the debris and fixing power lines,” he said. “It’s the management we have complaints about. That’s why there needs to be a service standard put in place.”

Baillie says he’s long believed NSP shouldn’t have a guaranteed profit and should instead be held to a certain standard of service. Proper pre-storm vegetation management and employing enough linesmen is just part of that, he added.

“Nova Scotians are seeing the effects today of Nova Scotia Power not doing that,” Baillie said.

Baillie added that he would advocate for any provincial support area residents need to help with the recovery from Arthur.

“Government needs to be there for people, and that’s why I wanted to see it for myself,” Baillie said.