NSP reviews outage plan, discusses Hurricane Dorian response

ANTIGONISH: Municipal council heard from the province’s power utility last week.

During the regular monthly meeting of council for the Municipality of the County of Antigonish, representatives from Nova Scotia Power (NSP) spoke to councillor about the fall-out of Hurricane Dorian, the utility’s restoration process during such emergencies, and work coming to the area.

NSP officials said Dorian was three times more impactful than Hurricane Juan, noting over 412,000 customers were without power over the September 7 weekend, with some not seeing restoration for close to a week.

NSP also explained their priority list when it comes to power restoration. Essentially NSP looks at public safety and emergency situations first; followed by critical NSP infrastructure like transmission lines and substations; then critical emergency infrastructure like hospitals and essential services; next are electrical feeders, branch power lines; and finally, individual homes and businesses.

Antigonish Warden Owen McCarron said he was pleased with the presentation, noting it underlined the issues facing NSP in such weather events.

The warden pointed out that NSP is planning more line clearing and tree removal for the Antigonish area.

“That’s also positive to hear,” he said. “They recognized that more tree removal needs to be done so that’s something that we’re happy to hear.”

The warden said NSP visited council on their own and are making the rounds to municipalities.

“It was a good presentation and building those lines of communication between our municipality and Nova Scotia Power is critically important,” he said. “When you look at a storm of this nature, they highlighted the process they go through from an emergency planning perspective. That gives us a better idea [about the process] so when we’re talking to our constituents, we can explain how some of the decisions are made and why they are made.”