Sunday, September 15, 2019

'We're no further ahead': Tatamagouche Nova Scotia man angry with NSP after repeated outages

Resident wants trees surrounding power lines trimmed, maintained by utility

Brooklyn Currie · CBC News · Posted: Sep 14, 2019 11:46 AM AT | Last Updated: September 14

Guy Rochon is not happy with Nova Scotia Power. His power went off and on for much of the week and he's had to empty his fridge twice in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

But Rochon, who owns a small farm in Tatamagouche, N.S., said the power going out on his road is a fairly regular occurrence.

"Since I've moved here it's been incessant power outages," he said. "And I think this year we're approaching the 10th power outage."

Rochon said he has continually contacted Nova Scotia Power in the four years he's lived in the area. He reports the outages and asks for the utility to trim the trees that are extremely close to power lines before they can lead to problems.

His power lines run through a heavily wooded area.

"Four years later, we're no further ahead," he said. "They will only come to remove what's fallen on the lines."

There is the cost of throwing out spoiled food after power outages. But one of Rochon's biggest concerns is the well-being of his farm animals when the power goes out in the winter, he said.

"Last year we had a significant storm, a really bad cold winter, and I had to go four or five days without power," Rochon said. "We're being told to be prepared for 72 hours. We're starting to exceed that now and I'm wondering when does this all stop?"

Rochon said he plans to organize some people from the area to start putting pressure on Nova Scotia Power, even though some of his neighbours have told him to give up,

"I don't want to stop," he said. "I want to continue fighting the utility until some plan gets put into place to address this situation because power outages like this should not be happening."

A spokesperson for Nova Scotia Power said the utility is aware of the concern in that area and plans to work there next year.

"It was work we prioritized as a 2020 item because there were other areas that we identified needed attention before this one," the spokesperson said.

Rochon said he was shocked to hear it won't be done until next year because it means going through one more winter of power failures.


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