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

  • Mosul siege extends ISIS fight in Iraq, puts civilians at risk

    World News CTV News
    MOSUL, Iraq -- Iraqi forces are steadily closing in on the remaining pockets of territory held by the Islamic State group in Mosul, inching toward a victory that U.S.-led coalition officials say is "only a matter of time. Source
  • Carter national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski dies

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, who helped topple economic barriers between the Soviet Union, China and the West as President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, died Friday. He was 89. His death was announced on social media Friday night by his daughter, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski. Source
  • Man hurling racial slurs kills 2, injures 1 on Portland train: police

    World News CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Two people died Friday and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said. Source
  • Firefighters rescue kittens while battling Calgary blaze

    Canada News CTV News
    Calgary firefighters made an unexpected rescue when they were battling a house fire in the city's southwest. On Friday afternoon, a passerby called 911 to report smoking coming from a home. Firefighters arrived and started to fight the blaze when one firefighter came across a kitten just outside the side door. Source
  • Firefighters rescue bobcat kittens while battling Calgary blaze

    Canada News CTV News
    Calgary firefighters made an unexpected rescue when they were battling a house fire in the city's southwest. On Friday afternoon, a passerby called 911 to report smoking coming from a home. Firefighters arrived and started to fight the blaze when one firefighter came across a kitten just outside the side door. Source
  • Sri Lanka confirms 100 dead in mudslides; 99 missing

    World News CTV News
    AGALAWATTE, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lanka's government says the death toll from Friday's floods and mudslides has risen to 100 with 99 others missing, as security forces and residents stepped up search and rescue operations. Source
  • Manitoba Greyhound passenger claims he was wrongly accused of being drunk, booted off bus

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    THOMPSON, Man. — An indigenous Manitoba man with a serious medical condition says he was refused entry to a Greyhound bus and wrongly accused of being intoxicated. Barry Spence says he makes the 10-hour trip from Thompson, Man. Source
  • Man hurling racial slurs at Muslim women kills 2, injures 1 on Oregon train, police say

    World News Toronto Sun
    PORTLAND, Ore. — Two people died Friday and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said. Source
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter, dies

    World News CBC News
    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, has died. He was 89. His death was announced on social media Friday night by his daughter, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski. She called him "the most inspiring, loving and devoted father any girl could ever have. Source
  • Tory leadership contenders make pitches for votes

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — The last time Conservative party faithful gathered en masse in Toronto it was to hear from former leader and prime minister Stephen Harper. On Friday, they met in the same location, this time to hear from the 13 people vying to replace him. Source