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NB Power explains repeat power outages in St. Stephen - Feb. 10, 2014


Vern Faulkner
St. Stephen
While much of the southwestern part of the province suffered power outages during the ice storm, one particular region has suffered more than a few.
On the afternoon of Jan. 25, a section of St. Stephen, including businesses such as Subway, Kent, the Charlotte Mall, St. Stephen High School and Border Area Community Arena, suffered a power loss. It was the latest in a series of outages that has impacted the same 507 customers on numerous occasions during the last three months.
Part of the cause, explained NB Power spokesperson Meghan Gerrish, lies in ongoing work at the Milltown substation. That work requires the customers normally serviced by energy from that substation to be powered from the St. Stephen substation.
“There are twice the amount of customers tied to the St. Stephen substation while we complete the maintenance at the Milltown substation,” Gerrish stated. Consequently, if an incident affects power coming from the St. Stephen substation, twice as many customers are affected.
Further, the power company is suffering the lingering impacts of the ice storm, Gerrish stated.
“Over the past few months, the power interruptions in the St. Stephen area have been caused by trees connecting with the lines in the area. Since the ice storm, many trees have weakened thus causing more outages when the winds pick up.”
Maintenance on the substation is expected to be complete in the spring.