Thousands in dark

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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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.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, Street Academy

Geographic location: AMHERST, Church Street, West Highlands Elementary

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Recent comments

  • uncle bobby
    March 25, 2011 - 06:06

    I have been informed by a Power spokesman that some previous outages were caused by fallen power poles, which were weakend by woodpeckers and termites. Hats off to all linemen, etc. who are called upon to work in miserable conditions.

    • Bonnie
      March 26, 2011 - 12:25

      I was just wondering----do the customers with NS Power get a discount on their power bills when the power is out for so many hours? After all they aren't getting the service they are paying for are they, I know if they did not pay their bills as they didn't use as many watts as they thought they did the company would disconnect wouldn't they. I was just wondering , and would love to hear from your CEO. Have a nice day, I do find your workers are certainly earning their wages and it is an extremely difficult job and I certainly applaud them.

  • Cody
    March 24, 2011 - 15:38

    I heard CKDH was off the air - they've had such problems with that station, and it's never actually worked right in these circumstances, why do they even stay on the air?

    • Robert
      March 24, 2011 - 18:57

      You *heard* CKDH was off the air? You mean you didn't actually check? If you don't actually listen to the station... why do you care if they *even stay on the air at all*? Sounds like you're just trying to make a snide remark about something that doesn't even matter to you... kinda pointless...

  • David
    March 24, 2011 - 13:57

    They will get a break BUNNY, the meter stops when there is no power so none is being used. LOL, just saying, LOL

  • bunny
    March 24, 2011 - 13:49

    well im hopin the people of amherst have some kinda break on there bill...Just Saying

  • reason
    March 24, 2011 - 09:48

    I'm sure that any business in Amherst with power is open today, why would you expect any different from a school? i would have to say that it is very far from absurd.

  • Barbara
    March 24, 2011 - 09:46

    SNOOKI... there is power at Spring Street Academy, and I'd rather my kids be there, warm and learning, than home and freezing.

  • Snooki
    March 24, 2011 - 09:05

    The fact that everything is closed in this town, and both Spring St and West highlands seem to think they should stay open is ABSURD!

    • darren
      March 24, 2011 - 12:25

      I think it not absurd for a school to stay open if possible!

    • Robert
      March 24, 2011 - 19:00

      The best place for kids to be, if at all able during situations like these, is at school. There is absolutely no reason why kids should be sent home if the school has full power and full functions. To do otherwise... well that's just... absurd!