Eastern N.S., Cape Breton power outages won't be fixed until Sunday

Nova Scotia Power says impassable roads in eastern parts of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton are hindering work by repair crews. There were still more than 17,000 customers without power by 6:30 p.m. Saturday, with delays extending into Sunday.

Extra crews brought in from New Brunswick to work on repairs

Nova Scotia Power says impassable roads in Cape Breton and eastern parts of the province are hindering work by repair crews 1:32

Nova Scotia Power customers in some eastern mainland and Cape Breton communities who lost power during Friday's winter storm may not be reconnected until late Sunday afternoon, the utility says.

"We're doing everything we can to restore every customer who's lost power by the end of Sunday," spokeswoman Sarah Dawson said Saturday afternoon.

"Of the customers who've lost power, we've restored power to more than 60 per cent."

At 6:30 p.m., there were 17,252 households and businesses in Sydney, Antigonish, Baddeck, Port Hawkesbury, Sheet Harbour, Stellarton, Windsor and surrounding areas waiting for the power to come back on.

At the peak of the outage, around 67,000 homes and businesses were cut off.

Extra crews brought in 

NSP crews are getting help from 20 Emera Utility Services crews and 88 contract crews from New Brunswick, Dawson said.

"We're throwing every resource we have at this," she said. 

Nova Scotia Power says service in many areas was cut when heavy, wet snow caused trees to droop over power lines. Bad roads are delaying repairs in some eastern parts of Nova Scotia, the utility said. (NS Power/Twitter )

Heavy, wet and deep snow has made it difficult to access some damaged areas and restore power to customers, she said.

"Eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton are where the vast majority of the outages are located and those are the biggest challenge areas to restoration," Dawson said.

"Some local roads are impassable there because they haven't yet been plowed. That's prevented our line crews from getting into those outage areas and in some areas, even getting damage assessment teams on site to determine damage there."

The power company has two helicopters in the air to try assess from the sky, she said.

Warming centres

NSP will attempt to contact each customer whose estimated restoration time is moving from Saturday to Sunday. 

People who have emergencies as a result of power loss should call 911, Dawson said.

Some people with medical needs are registered in the company's critical customer program and will be contacted about restoration times as priorities.

The municipality of Victoria County is operating a warming centre at Ross Ferry Fire Hall until 9 p.m. for warming, hot beverages and as a charging center for electronic devices.

There are warming centres at fire halls in Reserve Mines, Albert Bridge, Louisbourg, Florence, Glace Bay, Scotchtown and Sydney River until midnight Saturday. Those will open again Sunday morning if necessary.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.