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

  • Trump replaces campaign manager amid sinking poll numbers

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump shook up his campaign staff Wednesday amid sinking poll numbers less than four months before the election, replacing campaign manager Brad Parscale with veteran GOP operative Bill Stepien. "I am pleased to announce that Bill Stepien has been promoted to the role of Trump Campaign Manager," Trump said on Facebook. Source
  • China says progress made in latest border talks with India

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China and India made progress in their latest talks on a long-running border dispute that turned deadly last month, a Chinese spokesperson said Wednesday. Top commanders from the two sides held their fourth round of talks on Tuesday, a month after the deadly clash between their soldiers in the Galwan Valley, where India is building a strategic road connecting the region to an airstrip close to China. Source
  • Maine to use ranked voting for president after repeal fails

    World News CTV News
    AUGUSTA, MAINE -- Maine voters are poised to become the first group of voters in U.S. history to be able to use a ranked style of voting for president, following a ruling by the secretary of state Wednesday. Source
  • Ex-officer in Hawaii sentenced for making man lick urinal

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- A U.S. judge sentenced a former Honolulu police officer Wednesday to four years in prison for forcing a homeless man to lick a public urinal, telling him to imagine someone doing that to his two young daughters. Source
  • U.S. sanctions companies linked to businessman close to Putin

    World News CBC News
    The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on companies connected to a Russian businessman who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and suspected of helping finance the covert social media campaign aimed at American voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Source
  • Megan Thee Stallion says she 'suffered gunshot wounds' and police drove her to hospital

    World News CBC News
    Rapper Megan Thee Stallion said Wednesday that she was shot multiple times on Sunday but expects to fully recover. "I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me," the 25-year-old Texan, whose legal name is Megan Pete, wrote in an Instagram post, without saying who shot her or why. Source
  • No Tokyo Games likely means no Beijing either, IOC's Dick Pound says

    World News CBC News
    If the postponed Tokyo Olympics do not go ahead next year due to COVID-19 then the 2022 Beijing Winter Games will likely also fall victim to the pandemic, said long-time International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound. Source
  • Alberta health minister directs doctors' regulatory college to stop doctors from leaving practices en masse

    Canada News CBC News
    Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro has directed the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta to change its standards of practice for physicians by July 20 in an attempt to stop the province's doctors from leaving their practices en masse due to an ongoing dispute over pay. Source
  • Bear attack in Riding Mountain National Park leaves one person with lacerations to face and back

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- Parks Canada says a person hiking in Riding Mountain National Park suffered lacerations to their face and back after having a surprise encounter with a young black bear. Parks Canada confirmed with CTV News that the incident happened on July 13, when an individual was attacked by the bear on the Moon Lake Trail. Source
  • 'I did think I was going to die': Hiker recovering after being attacked by a bear in Riding Mountain National Park

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- A Manitoba hiker says she thought she was going to die after being attacked by a young black bear in Riding Mountain National Park. Erin McKenzie is now recovering after the surprise encounter with the bear left her with a gash on her face and claw marks on her back. Source