News / Halifax

Nova Scotia Power bringing in 1,000 people for biggest storm preparation in company history

A major winter storm bringing snow, high winds and rain is expected to hit Nova Scotia on Thursday.

Damaged power lines are seen in Dartmouth, N.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. Thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers are without electricity after a Christmas Day windstorm wreaked havoc across the province, interrupting dinners and disrupting travel.

Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press

Damaged power lines are seen in Dartmouth, N.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. Thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers are without electricity after a Christmas Day windstorm wreaked havoc across the province, interrupting dinners and disrupting travel.

Nova Scotia Power says they will have more than 1,000 people ready to handle whatever Thursday’s storm brings, some from as far away as Quebec.

According to a release Wednesday, the utility is “ramping up the biggest pre-storm mobilization of personnel and resources in the company’s history” ahead of the severe winter storm that is expected to bring hurricane force winds to Nova Scotia on Thursday.

“This is a bigger storm than the one that hit last week,” Karen Hutt, Nova Scotia Power CEO said in the release about the Christmas Day storm that left thousands without power across the province.

“The wind predictions are stronger, gusting up to 140 kilometres per hour, and more sustained, plus there is snow and rain on the front end.”

Hutt said they’ve called in crews from as far away as Hydro Quebec, and by Thursday they will have more than 1,000 people dedicated to storm response. That includes frontline crews, damage assessors, planners, engineers, support staff, and customer care representatives.

NSP says they’ve been monitoring the coming storm and planning a response for days, and the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will be activated at 8 p.m. Wednesday to handle outage restoration planning and response.

Crews will begin restoring power as soon as it’s safe to do so, but when winds are gusting above 80 km/h, NSP said they will make on-site assessments of whether to stand down for safety.

Restorations may not begin until the winds die down on Friday.

Hutt said forecasts suggest this could be the “most damaging storm since Post Tropical Storm Arthur,” and customers should be prepared for power outages lasting through the weekend, and perhaps into early next week.

Nova Scotia Power is opening its four payment depots in Kentville, Chester, Stellarton and Shelburne, as well its head office in Halifax, as comfort centres from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning Thursday and through to the end of local outage restoration. Customers can warm up, have coffee or hot chocolate, and recharge their devices.

The HRM comfort centre is in Halifax at 1223 Lower Water Street.

Nova Scotia Power said they’ll  also provide information on other comfort centres hosted by provincial and local emergency management organizations.

Customers can get their latest estimated power restoration by calling 1-877-428-6004 or checking outagemap.nspower.ca.

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