Early morning outage darkens most of town
Nova Scotia Power crews were at the Church Street substation this morning working to restore power to much of Amherst. Raissa Tetanish - Amherst Daily News
AMHERST - All residents currently in the dark should be able to turn their lights on in the next few hours.
David Rodenhiser, spokesperson for Nova Scotia Power, said crews have found the root of the problem that caused almost 7,000 residents in Amherst and the North Shore to lose their power around 2:35 a.m.
"It was one piece of equipment that failed, that caused another number of pieces to fail," he said around 2:45 p.m.
He added 2,000 customers were now back on the grid, with another 4,700 still to go.
"Power will come back on in sections over the next hour or two. Everyone will have their power back by the estimated 5:30 p.m. restoration time."
Many residents were speculating that a fire at the Church Street substation caused the outage.
"There was some electrical arching in the control panel, so there would have been a flash when the control panel went out, but because there was no more electricity there, it wouldn't have caught on fire. The fire department wasn't involved," Rodenhiser said.
Power was restored to the industrial park area shortly after 11 a.m., thanks to switching the feeder to a different substation.
"There are still a lot of customers without power, but we crews are making good progress out at the substation," Rodenhiser added.
Public works crews have set up temporary stop signs to replace streetlights throughout the town.
At least two area elementary schools do have power. Classes are reported to be on at both Spring Street Academy and West Highlands Elementary.