Nova Scotia Power battling thousands of outages in winter storm

Nova Scotia Power estimates it will be the wee hours of the morning before crews can start restoring power.

Crews have been out for several hours battling inclement weather and outages

Nova Scotia Power crews were out during the day on Friday, and according to restoration times, will be working to restore power well into Saturday's early morning hours. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

It could be a cold night for some residents across the province Friday night, as Nova Scotia Power estimates it will be the wee hours of the morning before crews start restoring power. 

More than 52,000 people were without power by 10 p.m. on Friday, because of the heavy, wet snow.

The nor'easter has caused a mess of flight cancellations, accidents, and closures.

The snow slowed crews down Friday night, spokesperson Beverley Ware said.

"They've got very poor driving conditions, and there's very deep snow so it is taking them time to get to some sites," Ware said.

Line sparks in Cape Breton

Kevin Petitpas in Port Hastings, N.S., saw flashing lights outside his window shortly after 9 p.m. Friday.

"We opened up the blinds and there were fireworks on the power lines," Petitpas said.

Sparks flew into the snow for two to three minutes, he said. The lights in his house flickered, but didn't go out. He tweeted at Nova Scotia Power, which replied and asked he keep away for safety until they could attend the scene. 

"I wasn't worried about fire or anything because there's a pretty good layer of snow outside," said Petitpas. "It was surprising for sure."

His neighbourhood has between 20 and 30 cm of "pretty wet and heavy" snow, he said. That snow had built up on the lines, the weight of which he said he thinks could have caused the sparking.

"It's not something I've ever seen before," Petitpas said. 

Outages caused by heavy snow

Sparking of wires is not "abnormal," Ware said, as heavy snow pushes trees into wires.

"They'll see those flashes," Ware said.

She recommends people call 911 and Nova Scotia Power, and stay away from any downed or sparking lines in case they are live.

Help from New Brunswick

Nova Scotia Power is estimating it could be well into Saturday morning before power is restored in some communities.

Ware said the utility has called in crews from NB Power to assist with restoration. 

They will arrive early Saturday morning, attend a safety orientation in Truro, N.S., and then be dispatched to the hardest hit areas, likely Pictou County, Antigonish County and Cape Breton, she said.


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