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UPDATE - Thousands lose power as Nor'Easter slams province

Power outages can be seen across the province on Jan. 4 on Nova Scotia Power's outage map.
Power outages can be seen across the province on Jan. 4 on Nova Scotia Power's outage map. - Submitted

Stay here for updates on power outages for Hants, Kings and Annapolis counties

Current Power Outages: 

 

HANTS —

Noel Shore, South Maitland and surrounding communities. 2,556 affected customers. Start Time - Jan. 4, 5:27 p.m. Estimated time of restoration - Jan. 7, 11:30 p.m. Cause - High winds. 

Vaughan, Hants County. 2 outages, fewer than five each. Start Time - Jan. 4, 4:25 p.m. Estimated time of restoration - Jan. 7, 11:30 p.m. Cause - High winds. 

KINGS —

Black River, Lumsden Dam and surrounding communities, 561 affected customers. Start Time - Jan. 4, 4:34 p.m. Estimated time of restoration - Jan. 7, 11:30 p.m. Cause - High winds. 

ANNAPOLIS —  

Annapolis Royal. Fewer than 5 affected customers. Start Time - Jan. 4, 6:27 p.m. Estimated time of restoration - Jan. 7, 11:30 p.m. Cause - High winds.

 

PROVINCE - Over 85,000 customers are without power as of 7:08 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2018. Outages are spread across the province, including Shelburne, Yarmouth and more coastal communities in Western Nova Scotia. Power outages are also being reported throughout Halifax, including the downtown, Dartmouth, Bedford and more. Large parts of Cape Breton are also without power. There are 755 active outages according to NS Power.  

 

CANCELLATIONS - The Annapolis Valley Regional School Board and Chignecto-Central Regional School Board cancelled all classes for Jan. 4, 2018. 

The Greenwood Mall Farmers' Market is also closed due to weather. 

King's Transit has cancelled operations for the day. 

NSCC Campuses at Kingstec (Kentville) and Cogs/Middleton (Annapolis) closed today.

The Village of New Minas Office and Louis Millett Community Complex will be closing at 12, noon. 

Municipality of the County of Kings office will be closing at 12, noon. 

County of Annapolis offices will remain closed today.

Town of Wolfville offices closed at 11 a.m.

Town of Berwick offices closed due to weather.

Kentville Town Hall has closed for the remainder of the day.

Municipality of East Hants office has closed due to road conditions. 

Valley Credit Union branches in New Minas, Canning and Hantsport will be closing for remainder of the day.

CIBC locations in Kingston, Kentville, Greenwood and Windsor are closing at 12, noon. 

All Annapolis Valley Regional Library branches are closed. 

Acadia University basketball game vs Saint Mary's University cancelled. 

Many incoming and outgoing flights at Halifax Stanfield International Airport have been cancelled or delayed. 

Office of the Dept. of Agriculture, Cornwallis Park, Annapolis Co. is closed for the day.

It's advisable to call ahead before heading to any appointments today as many businesses and organizations are likely closing throughout the day as the storm progresses. 

 

WINDSOR, N.S. - By noon on Jan. 4, 2018 it was already snowing in Kentville as winds began to pick up in intensity.

Across the Annapolis Valley snow, rain and strong winds are being seen as a major storm, which has been dubbed a weather bomb, steadily approaches the province. Thousands are already without power as of 12, noon in Nova Scotia. 

Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has tweeted that their vehicles are out in full force, adding that the weather conditions are worsening as some areas fluctuate between rain and snow. 

The Municipality of East Hants tweeted that road conditions are worsening in their area, adding that the mix of rain and snow has lead to slushy conditions. They closed their office shortly after the announcement due to weather conditions. 

Nova Scotia Power has brought in additional workers, approximately 1,000 people focused on storm-response, in what the utility is calling its biggest pre-storm mobilization of personnel and resources in the company’s history. 

NSP says this is an effort to mitigate loss of power to customers in advance of a severe winter storm that is forecast to bring hurricane-force winds to Nova Scotia on Jan. 4. 

“This is a bigger storm than the one that hit last week,” Karen Hutt, the president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power said in a news release. “The wind predictions are stronger, gusting up to 140 kilometres per hour, and more sustained, plus there is snow and rain on the front end.”

Additional crews, coming from as far as Hydro Quebec, will be a part of the effort to restore anticipated power outages during the storm, which has been dubbed a weather bomb, as cold air and warm air mix to create hurricane-like winds. 

The company says they have been monitoring the storm, planning response, and securing resources for days leading up to the event. 

The company activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at 8 p.m. on Jan. 3 leading up to the weather event. The EOC is the nerve centre for outage restoration planning and response and is staffed with employees representing all aspects of the company. 

Nova Scotia Power says it will operate its EOC until the last customer is safely restored.

A press release from NSP says crews will begin restoring power as soon as it's safe to do so, but when winds are gusting above 80 km/hour, they have to make on-site assessments of whether to stand down for safety. 

Restorations may not be able to begin until winds subside on Jan. 5.

“Weather forecasts suggest this could be the most damaging storm since Post Tropical Storm Arthur,” Hutt said. “Customers should be prepared for power outages lasting through the weekend, and perhaps into early next week. Freezing temperatures are predicted, so please plan for the safety of yourself and your family.”

Nova Scotia Power is opening its four payment depots in Kentville, Chester, Stellarton and Shelburne, as well its head office in Halifax, as comfort centres from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2017 and through to the end of local outage restoration. 

Customers who’ve lost power will be able to warm up, have some coffee or hot chocolate, and recharge their devices. The specific locations are:

Kentville – 3 Calkin Dr.

Chester – 96 Valley Rd.

Stellarton – 26 Bridge Ave.

Shelburne – 261 Ohio Rd.

Halifax – 1223 Lower Water St.

NSP says residents are encouraged to call 1-877-428-6004 if they witness downed electrical wires or poles or want to report a power outage.

Residents should contact 911 in emergencies or if a situation becomes dangerous. 

NSP also said in a press release that in situations where there are multiple power outages, Nova Scotia Power restores power in phases to ensure critical services like hospitals can stay open before beginning work in other areas. Larger outages on transmission lines and in substations are restored ahead of smaller outages to restore electricity to the greatest number of customers.

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