Electrocuted squirrel blamed for N.S. power outage

HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's power utility, which has blamed blackouts on everything from crows and seagulls to "salty fog" over the last decade, said Friday an electrocuted squirrel left a swath of suburban Halifax in the dark.

See Full Article

The furry critter scaled a transformer in a substation in the Hammonds Plains area just before 5 p.m. Thursday, Nova Scotia Power said Friday.

Spokeswoman Bev Ware said the squirrel became a conduit for the electricity, which subsequently caused roughly 5,400 customers to lose power.

The animal was electrocuted and died at the scene. Power was restored within two hours.

Ware said animals were to blame for several other power outages over the last year, although she wouldn't name specific species. She said the utility has taken measures to prevent animal-related outages.

"We do have animal guards that we can put in place, but we can't prevent this from ever happening," said Ware on Friday. "There's always going to be some exposed electrical equipment in a substation."

Crows, raccoons and seagulls have also caused lights to go out in thousands of Nova Scotia homes over the last decade.

The utility even blamed salt in heavy fog for brief, widespread outages in the Halifax area in 2006.

But Halifax author Stephen Kimber, who has written about the issue, said he believes it is not a matter of curious animals or salty fog.

"There are way more outages than I ever remember growing up or even as an adult here, which I think has to do with the cutbacks they've had over time and the elimination of a lot of maintenance jobs," said Kimber, who has lived in the Halifax area for more than six decades.

"You can probably find that there are legitimate examples that Nova Scotia Power is using for certain power failures, but in virtually every storm, even minor rainfalls and snowstorms, the power goes out. Why does the power go out? Because they haven't put the money into making sure the system has all the backups that it needs."

Kimber said his comments are only anecdotal, as there is no historical data on power outages in Nova Scotia. He said the utility or an independent body should study whether there are more outages now than in the past, and what has caused the outages historically.

Ontario's Hydro One acknowledged on Friday that power outages can be caused by animal contact, and it has also dealt with such problems over the past several years.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Welsh villagers could be U.K.’s first 'climate refugees'

    World News CTV News
    Villagers living in a coastal Welsh community could win the unenviable title of the United Kingdom’s first “climate change refugees.” Fairbourne (pop. 900) is barely above sea level. An embankment and drainage channels keep the Irish Sea out. Source
  • Eyewitnesses speak out about couple found dead on B.C. highway

    Canada News CTV News
    Two road workers in northern British Columbia are providing possible clues into the deaths of an Australian man and an American woman whose bodies were found on the side of a remote stretch of highway one week ago. Source
  • One dead, one in critical after plane crashes into river near Jasper, Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    JASPER, Alta. - One person has died and another was taken to hospital after a small plane crashed into a river in western Alberta. RCMP Const. Shelley Nasheim says the aircraft was attempting to take off from an airstrip near Jasper on Sunday afternoon when it crashed into a nearby river. Source
  • 5 shot dead, 6 wounded in Acapulco bar near beach

    World News CTV News
    ACAPULCO, Mexico -- Gunmen killed five men and wounded six other people at a popular bar in Acapulco on Sunday, the latest in a string of violent incidents for the once-glamorous Pacific Coast resort city that has fallen on hard times. Source
  • Puerto Rico governor says he won't seek re-election in wake of scandal

    World News CBC News
    Puerto Rico's embattled governor says he will not seek re-election but will not resign as the island's leader, though he will step down as head of his pro-statehood party. Ricardo Rossello made the announcement Sunday via a brief Facebook video as hundreds of viewers posted angry messages. Source
  • Puerto Rico governor says he won't seek re-election amid furor over leaked messages

    World News CBC News
    Puerto Rico's embattled governor says he will not seek re-election but will not resign as the island's leader, though he will step down as head of his pro-statehood party. Ricardo Rossello made the announcement Sunday via a brief Facebook video as hundreds of viewers posted angry messages. Source
  • U.S. notes advance in Mexican migration enforcement

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged during a meeting Sunday that Mexico has made significant progress on migration enforcement, Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said. Ebrard said in a statement that due to these advances, Mexico sees no need to negotiate a "safe third country" agreement with Washington that would require migrants to apply for asylum in Mexico rather than in the U.S. Source
  • Plane crash near Jasper townsite sends two people to hospital

    Canada News CBC News
    Two people have been taken to hospital after a small plane crashed near the town of Jasper on Sunday afternoon. It was reported at about 1:30 p.m. that the aircraft crashed into the Athabasca River near the local airport, RCMP Const. Source
  • 1 person dead, another in critical condition after plane crash in Jasper, Alta.

    Canada News CBC News
    One person is dead and another is in critical condition after a small plane crashed near the town of Jasper, Alta., on Sunday afternoon. Alberta Health Services spokesperson Amy Crofts confirmed one person was declared dead on scene, and the other was taken to hospital. Source
  • 1 man dead, another in serious condition after plane crash in Jasper, Alta.

    Canada News CBC News
    One man is dead and another is in serious condition after a small plane crashed near the town of Jasper, Alta., on Sunday afternoon. The lone passenger, a 31-year-old man, was declared dead on scene, RCMP Const. Source