Power crews reconnecting N.S. customers 1 week after Arthur

Nova Scotia Power says it hopes to restore electricity to most of the remaining customers without power on Saturday, though some people may have to wait longer.

Nova Scotia Power trying to restore electricity to hundreds of customers on Saturday

Post-tropical storm Arthur toppled trees and power lines as it moved through Nova Scotia last Saturday. These lines were spotted the following day in Yarmouth. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

Nova Scotia Power says it hopes to restore electricity to most of the remaining customers without power on Saturday, though some people may have to wait longer.

As of 4:10 p.m. Saturday, there were about 110 outages, down from 500 at the start of the day.

Stacey Pineau, a spokeswoman for the utility, said 190 crews, including contractors, were working Saturday.

"It's a 24/7 operation," she said.

It's been a week since post-tropical storm Arthur toppled trees and power lines as it swept through Nova Scotia.

The remaining power outages were in the western part of the province, including the Bridgewater, Yarmouth, Digby, Bridgetown and Wolfville areas.

"We apologize that we were unable to restore your power by Friday," the utility said on its website.

"Please know that crews are working through the night and we have a full complement of crews working to restore power safely and as quickly as possible Saturday."

Pineau said it might take longer for crews to reconnect seasonal properties in remote areas.

'Inexcusable'

Nova Scotia Power has been criticized for its response to the storm and its actions in the hours and days that followed.

Customers complained it was impossible to report the outages or to get an estimate as to when the lights would come back on. Phone lines were jammed and at one point the utility's outage website didn't work.

On Friday, Premier Stephen McNeil called the company's actions "inexcusable" and said the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board would conduct a review.

Some residents have been demanding compensation for the loss of food due to the outage.

Worst since Juan

Nova Scotia Power said approximately 200,000 customers lost electricity at the peak of the outages from post-tropical storm Arthur, which it calls the worst storm since Hurricane Juan in 2003. 

There were 2,300 outages on Friday afternoon. By 5:30 p.m., that number was down to about 1,000.

Bob Hanf, the utility's CEO and president, said Nova Scotia Power would review its communication systems.

Earlier this week, he said restoration times are based on past experiences and are an estimate.

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