New Brusnwick

Power outages in New Brunswick were caused by trees

NB Power’s electricity grid has weathered the storm of recent days. The breakdowns were caused by trees that collapsed on wires under the weight of the ice storm.

One year after the ice storm, many people were wondering about the strength of the electricity grid in New Brunswick, particularly in the Acadian Peninsula.

This region was again the most severely hit by the failures of the last days. At the height of the storm, nearly 7000 households were deprived of power. And across the province, there were up to 19,000 subscribers without electricity.

“I’m not too stressed. You see, we’re all ready. We have all [equipped] since last year. At this time, there is less stress with that, but when it announces the ice storm we think all the time for the past year. It comes as disgusting, “says Jason Guignard, resident of Caraquet.

The Acadian Peninsula has experienced a lot of failures. First, there was the ice storm last winter, which plunged hundreds of thousands of subscribers into the dark. Then, a violent storm caused breakdowns in Lamèque in May. There was also a brief breakdown in the Peninsula in August.

NB Power has strengthened its network since last year. “All the points that were judged weak in the ice storm, we reinforced these points with storm points. It’s really the addition of wiring and cables to anchor poles to avoid the cascading effect, “said Gaëtan Thomas, President and CEO of NB Power.

The Crown Corporation has also decided to install steel poles between Shippagan and Lamèque for the power line to withstand storms.

Fewer failures in Quebec than in NB

Quebec, which has ten times more citizens than New Brunswick, has had ten times fewer failures this year. The storm has struck here too. Winds reached 100 km / h in some areas of Quebec.

But the CEO of NB Power says that in New Brunswick, it’s the coastal areas that have been hit the hardest.

“We are more exposed along the coast. And the coastal regions, it’s not just the wind. It takes a lot of attributes to get results like that, where we had freezing rain, which adds weight to the lines and the trees. There was more impact than other regions. If we take the northwestern region of the province, which is the closest to Quebec, almost no interruption, “says Gaëtan Thomas.

The breakdowns were caused by trees that gave way under the weight of ice. Despite the magnitude of the blackouts this time, NB Power was able to restore power in the next 24 hours for the majority of its affected customers.

About the author


Dean Aker

Dean Aker is one of the lead editors for He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. James specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.

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