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

  • Financial sector needs to step up on climate change, Mark Carney warns

    World News CBC News
    Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, is urging the financial sector and, in particular, central banks to play an increasing role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Writing in the Guardian in a piece co-authored by Fran├žois Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Banque de France, he urged banks to find ways to protect their portfolios from the impact of climate change. Source
  • Fredericton to hit flood stage on Saturday, says province

    Canada News CBC News
    River levels along the lower St. John River are continuing to rise as residents brace for flooding that experts say could be as bad as the historic flood that hit parts of New Brunswick in 2018. The river sits at 5.6 metres on Thursday morning in Fredericton, but the forecast level was only 5.2 metres. Source
  • Short-circuit 'likely caused' Notre Dame fire

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- The latest on the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and its aftermath (all times local): 6:15 p.m. A French judicial police official said investigators think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Source
  • Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante faces online threats over secularism stance

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec's premier is speaking out against online threats levelled against Montreal's mayor over her stance on Bill 21. Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante has said she's been the target of increasing threats since making known her opposition to the provincial secularism bill. Source
  • Gunmen kill 14 bus passengers in southwest Pakistan

    World News CBC News
    Gunmen wearing Pakistani police and paramilitary uniforms ambushed a bus before dawn Thursday and killed 14 people after going through their ID cards and forcing them out of the vehicle on a remote part of a coastal highway in restive southwestern Baluchistan province, officials said. Source
  • Trump declares 'a good day' following Mueller report release

    World News CTV News
    U.S. President Donald Trump says he's "having a good day" following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. And he says that no president should ever have to go through what he did again. Source
  • Mueller report: What you need to know

    World News CTV News
    Nearly two years after former FBI director Robert Mueller was tasked with looking into allegations of links between the Russian government and the electoral campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump, the public now has a chance to see most of Mueller's findings. Source
  • Quebec public security minister warning flood zone residents not to take chances

    Canada News CTV News
    Quebec's public security minister is urging people in regions at risk of flooding not to take any chances and to follow the advice of civil security officials. Genevieve Guilbault spoke today as two days of heavy rain were forecast for the province, aggravating the danger in areas where water levels are already high. Source
  • Two more men from same Ontario family charged in historical sexual assaults

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in eastern Ontario say they've charged two more members of the same family in a series of historical sexual assaults alleged to have occurred between 1974 and 1991. Provincial police said earlier this month they had charged four relatives, all men aged 57 to 67, in various incidents involving multiple victims. Source
  • Supreme Court of Canada sides with police in internet child luring case

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says undercover police officers do not need to obtain a judicial warrant before using email or instant-message services to communicate with someone suspected of child luring. The ruling today comes in the case of Sean Patrick Mills, a Newfoundland man who was convicted of internet luring after a police officer posed online as a 14-year-old girl named "Leann. Source