Severe weather more than a headache

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When the power goes out, most times it’s a minor inconvenience, and it’s back on in a matter of a couple of hours. 

That’s not the case with a vast number of customers in eastern Canada following the stormy weather we’ve been experiencing. Some households and businesses haven’t had their electrical services restored even after six days.

Imagine, that is an incredibly long time, and could result in some serious damage in addition to the discomfort.

Nova Scotia escaped the brunt of the ice storm in comparison to Ontario, Quebec and parts of New Brunswick. Authorities in those provinces have crews working around the clock to fix the problems, but the word is some won’t have the power back on until the new year.

And it’s not necessarily over yet. There are also concerns that wind gusts expected in some communities could bring down ice-laden tree branches, potentially cutting power to more customers.

There have also been a number of sad incidents in which people using backup heaters have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. It should be a reminder to use equipment wisely and to have a working carbon monoxide detector.

Several years back Nova Scotia Power took quite a bit of heat from angry customers when power was lost in extensive areas and, despite the valiant efforts of crews, it wasn’t restored for quite a few days in some areas. The implication by many of the critics was that the corporation hadn’t sufficiently invested in its infrastructure, leaving some of the grid more vulnerable.

That really should be a priority, given what seems increasing frequency of severe storms – not just in winter, but during other parts of the year as well. Considering the kind of damage people could face – as well as compromising their safety – the power utilities across the country need to pay a lot more attention to their equipment. They also need to focus more on contingency plans for those times when the storm packs a punch.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: Eastern Canada, Nova Scotia, Ontario Quebec New Brunswick

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