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Nova Scotia's power utilities are under fire after a wide spread


HALIFAX – New Scotia electricity utilities came under fire on Thursday after broad power campaigns led opposition leaders and critics online to call on the government to hold the private company to account.

The whole of the Atlantic region was swept by stations after a storm came into strong winds and wet, heavy snow that drew down power lines, disrupted travel and stimulated the closure of schools.

But Nova Scotia was hitting it hardly hit by the edges, with almost 250,000 homes and businesses – half of the customers of Nova Scotia Power – without electricity at one point before noon.

The utilities that belong to Emera Inc. based on Halifax said the wind and the snow were pulling down one of four high voltage transmission voltage lines electricity from power generation plants in Pen Breton to the mainland of Nova Scotia.

Karen Hutt, the Chief Executive of the Power of Nova Scotia, said the other three lines could have treated the load, but the sagging wires were going out when they started to touch each other.

The problem worsened soon afterwards when NB Power was hit by outage at Memramcook, N.B., where a transfer line connects New Brunswick with Nova Scotia.

"That system did the same that made our system – it's closing to defend itself," said Hutt in an interview.

The second costs doubled several Power Nova Scotia customers without electricity, bringing the total to over 200,000.

This was the worst power force that the province had suffered since the hurricane of Juan had ruined the region in September 2003, killing eight people and causing damage of $ 100 million in damage.

Gary Burrill, North Nova Scotia NDP Leader, said the "Thursday" storm was quite fast – Halifax, for example, would almost be almost snow – it should not have caused such a vast growth.

However, Hutt insisted that departures in the Halifax area, which highlighted heavy online criticisms, resulted in a special rainfall in north-east Nova Scotia, followed by the river in New Brunswick.

"You can not draw the conclusion that only because you are in Halifax, you should be protected from anything that happens in other parts of the province," he said. "That's the way the power system works in Nova Scotia, or in other jurisdictions."

Still, Burrill called on the government to hold the utilities to count.

"It says something quite serious about grid maintenance in general," said Burrill. "When we have this level of infrastructure grid failure … why no ordinary person would think, Gosh, something is wrong here;

Tim Houston's Conservative Conservative Leader was more incredible: "We're paying some of the highest power rates in the country, we expect that power. When he goes out … he needs to come according to."

Many online chatroulette raised questions about the severity of the storm in Halifax.

"I'm surprised that today's weather is being considered a storm," said one social media post. "Is there another province in this country that deals with power restrictions as often as N.S.? I really want this to be incredible."

When the Premier Stephen McNeil was asked how his Liberal government would respond to the stations, it was immediately deferred to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, which regulates electricity utilities.

"We set standards in relation to reliability," he said after a cabinet meeting in Halifax. "At the same time, the regulator will deal with ultimately endurance."

In another place Thursday, NB reported Power by 44,000 customers in the dark in neighboring New Brunswick. In P.E.I., Maritime Electric said there were 45,000 customers without power, while Newfoundland Power also reported a lot of things.

The Environment Agency of Canada's high-pressure weather system stimulated the announcement of weather warnings for the whole of the Atlantic region.

Winds forecasted at 110km per hour for Newfoundland, where snow amounts are expected to reach 25 centimeters in the central part of the province.

Parts of North Nova Scotia are expected to have up to 20 inches of snow, with winds growing up to 80 km / h.

The northern coast agency P.E.I. It could see spray and surfing waves, possibly causing flooding, while eastern New Brunswick could see up to 15 inches of snow and tighter winds up to 80 km / h.

Schools were closed and a ferry service between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia was canceled, and the Confederation Bridge between P.E.I. and limited ride by Nova Scotia.

Centers were canceled or delayed at Halifax, Charlottetown and St. John & # 39; s, N.L.

Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press

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